Tyreis Holder is an Artist, Poet, community arts practitioner and Visual Storyteller from South London, with heritage reigning from Jamaican/St Vincent. She works heavily in mediums pertaining to installation, textiles, performance, poetry, sculpture and sound. Her practise centres around explorations of self and identity, generational/ancestral trauma and the relationship with the mind, particularly within regards to navigating colonial spaces.
Her primary grounds for exploration explores how textiles pose as poetic language, functioning as a healing device- specifically in regards to trauma experienced by black women. Bringing lived experiences into her practice, she aims to generate conversations around how social and intimate spaces are shaped through race, diffability*, community, class, sexuality and culture. Poetry translates into garments/textiles, installations pose as poetry pages.
*She interchanges the word disability with diffability and disabled with diffabled. The word disabled implies lack, ‘dis’ deriving from latin meaning ‘not’. The constant reminder of lack can have a negative psychological impact. Words have weight. However, through difference, you can find power. She has coined the terms diffabiliity and diffabled – deriving from differ-bility and differ-abled, but has chosen a phonetic spelling approach drawing from the structure of patois.
Title: Dun Dunnah
About the work
Dun Dunnah was a response to the unimagined future of covid and an explosion in media attention of The Black Lives Matter movement, to an unimagined future, of what it truly looks like when healing and generational trauma breaking takes place via textile and poetry. It is both a critique of present/systemic oppression and failure; and a healing site–for future self and community.
With my grandmothers handmade clothes , handstitched, I began piecing each stitch to a story my mum told me of her childhood. These pieces are artefacts - like DunDunnah, sparking a lineage, teaching the language of textiles as a form of storytelling- surpassing her beliefs of textiles as domestic to a medium of unspoken language.
DunDunnah explores language and voice- traversing the mother tongue of Patois and English.. The word Text derives from the Latin words texere –meaning to weave. When composing sentences, we are simply weaving together 26 letters of the English alphabet. DunDunnah treads unimagined language planes, considering how patois shows up textually, interested in language and translation-from text, to textiles, to colour- untrimmed, mimicking my mother tongue, and capturing the train of thought, which exists freely on an continuum, with no ending or fullstop