Self Dialogues: Hard Food (2022), Six-Screen Film Installation on VR Headset (6m 20s)

‘Self Dialogues’ by Amber Pinkerton is an ongoing, multi-chapter, immersive photographic and moving image series, began in 2022. ‘Self Dialogues’ reveals Pinkerton’s personal meditations on themes traversing migrational loneliness, love and desire, family, coloniality and cultural memory. 

Chapter 1, ‘Self Dialogues: ‘Hard Food’ excavates and focuses on Pinkerton’s personal journey, since migrating to England from Jamaica in 2016. It features a virtual, multi-part video installation, alongside accompanying photographic artworks. Unraveling different stems and sentiments of the artists personal experience of solitude; her feelings of isolation, detachment, darkness, limbo, and oneness run through the work.

The chapter’s title, ‘Hard Food’, is derived from a term used in Caribbean society to denote ‘any starchy agricultural product used as food’. At Pinkerton’s hands, it takes on a more metaphorical function. Diverging from the term’s typical definition, the artist uses it to signify thoughts or realisations that are hard to swallow or confront. ‘Self Dialogues: Hard Food’ operates as a self-confessional and diaristic artwork.

I Pledge (2020), Single-Screen Archival Film

I Pledge (2020) is a visual, moving montage made during the covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement. The work was originally created from clips discovered on the internet.

As a response to the social turmoil of the time, Pinkerton used this work as a therapeutic exercise to aid her state of mind. During a period where Black lives demanded to be seen and valued, the visual mood board signifies an undeniable form of Jamaican patriotism as it wholeheartedly celebrates cultural memory and excellence.

The work operates as a visual journey and timeline of Jamaican society, with focus on its post- colonial era. Its comprising seeds give a nod to iconography, nostalgia and socio-political context regarding colonialism, race and class; both forming a direct linkage between past and present. The film makes constant reference to national public figures, advertisements, television shows, songs and events as a trigger to childhood memory. Its critical transparency camouflages itself in an envelope of shared, diasporic dialect and speech.

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