Cliff studied BA Communication Design at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, graduating with honours, before coming to study Print at the Royal College. He also holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Politics from the University of Bristol. He is a previous winner of the Jill Todd Photo Award, and has been a finalist for both the Association of Photographers Award and the Aesthetica Art Prize. He has exhibited work at a variety of galleries including the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Streetlevel Photoworks in Glasgow, Southwark Park Galleries in London and Spike Island in Bristol. He was chosen as the Tony Snowdon Scholar at the RCA for 2018 to 2020 by the Snowdon Trust, without whose invaluable support he would not have been able to undertake his MA studies. His practice is multi-disciplinary, taking in drawing, printmaking, photography, film and installation.
Here Cliff presents a range of work which reflects the variety of techniques and approaches he utilises to interrogate his interests. His first two pieces explore the encounter of the print, manipulating the environment and context within which the viewer meets the printed object. The final three articulate his interest in walking and place. Sandwiched between them is a proposal for an exhbition which will see him build on his previous work to reconnect to a lost heritage through craft and making. All are linked by a deep concern for memory and split-identities.
I like telling stories.
I like being from two cultures, but not really belonging to either. I like having my own experience of the immigrant story.
I worry the experiences I grew up with will disappear into history if I do not make them into stories. I like to release my stories into the world to challenge dominant notions of identity.
I made a series of prints based on my parents' experience of immigration.
I like that stories are based on memory. I like to explore the unreliability of memory. I am sure the things we remember never existed in the way we think they did.
I like to think about the consequences of basing our identity on something so unreliable.
And on place.
I like to explore the relationship between memory and place.
I like to wander around the areas I now find myself in and compare them to 'home'. Did the place I recall as 'home' ever really exist?
I like borrowing from others for my stories. If you have a split identity, you have to borrow to fill the gaps.
I like the directness of drawing as a way to get the stories out of my head. I worry that tradition is inclined to not consider drawings 'proper' art. I use printmaking to give them more 'weight'.
I like photography. As with stories, you decide what to tell and what to leave out of the frame.
I like to consider whether photography is a friend or a foe to memory.
I worry I place too much emphasis on my stories. I worry this stops me fully engaging with the present.
And I wonder whether one day I can find a way to escape my stories altogether.
but it has, comeu tudo (dreams of pátria)
but it has, comeu tudo (lusotropicalismo)
but it has, comeu tudo (the poor women had to do bloody everything)
but it has, comeu tudo (triptych)
45cm x 30cm (x3) [triptych]
edition of 10
"To have a critical consciousness you must first have a sense of what you really are historically, although your history is a result of a huge jumble of traces left inside you."
- Edward Said, paraphrasing Antonio Gramsci
The print within each image depicts an aspect of my experience of the migrant experience. But our histories, our stories, are a jumble, a complex and random layering, of non-hierarchical experiences and influences. My interpretation is just one of many possibilities.
I like to think about whether history, even a small part of it, is destined to repeat itself. My pose in each image reflects that of the prints, even if the location has 'evolved'. The woman in the field looks up to the sky as if to look to the future. Her field is a place of toil. I look up because I am fortunate enough to have time to relax. My field has become a garden. A place of leisure.
A triptych of photographic collages comprising an etching, a lithograph, and an etching again (respectively) accompanied by digital photographs, scanned analogue photographs and scanned printed matter from personal archive.
Medium:Giclee prints on fine art archival paper (triptych, edition of 10)
Size:45cm x 30cm (x3)
dreams of pátria
dreams of pátria — etching and aquatint on fine art Somerset paper. 60cm x 42cm. Edition of 10.
lusotropicalismo — lithograph on fine art Somerset paper. 60cm x 72cm. Edition of 10.
the poor women had to do bloody everything
the poor women had to do bloody everything — etching and aquatint on fine art Somerset paper. 60cm x 42cm. Edition of 10.
they always said this land não ia comer os seus ossos (installation) — installed with low-key, domestic lighting at Southwark Park Galleries, London, March 2020.
a series of three prints
etching and aquatint on fine art paper & lithography on fine art paper.
60cm x 42cm; 60cm x 72cm; 60cm x 42cm
Each available in an edition of 10
"My work is my way of yelling to my ancestors and my past that I have not forgotten you; I have not forgotten you, I have not abandoned you and I am trying to find you."
- Curtis Talwst Santiago
In the last century, there was a wave of migration to Britain from the southern European periphery. The broad narrative of this migration seems to have been largely forgotten, let alone its nuances. I produced this print series based on experiences shared and stories told by the London Portuguese community.
Delicate, intimate prints for delicate, intimate stories.
Individuals disconnected from their surroundings, rudderless in a sea storm of identities and memories.
My fear is that these stories will be lost. I want to create a conversation about their legacy for us 'second generationers'. Not a Hogarthian moralistic didacticism. Closer to the subjective approach of a Rego: a pinch of the fantastical; a sprinkling of unease. I hope these will contribute towards giving us all a better understanding of the society we find ourselves in today.
a tale of two Madeira cakes
Sculptural installation comprised of Madeira cake, madeira cake, and found and donated objects (three wooden chairs, folding kitchen table, plastic tablecloth, ceramic plate, two ceramic mugs, a knife, a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine and a Portuguese ceramic cockerel).
“At the core of diasporic experience is a variant of what W. E. B. DuBois called ‘double consciousness’: that of belonging to more than one world, of being both ‘here’ and ‘there’, of thinking about ‘there’ from ‘here’ and vice versa; of being ‘at home’ - but never wholly - in both places; neither fundamentally the same, nor totally different. It thus entails a very different conception of identity’s relation to cultural traditions from that of conventional notions, which tend to emphasise remaining true to one’s primordial origins and imply continuity, fixity and an unchanging rootedness. Here, ‘routes’ (change, movement, transformations, adaptation, being always 'in process’) are just as important as ‘roots’, if not more so: an example of what Paul Gilroy calls culture as ‘the changing same’.”
- Stuart Hall, Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands
Due to a historical clash of (and yet gap between) the local and the global, a Madeira cake in Madeira is not the same as a madeira cake in the U.K.. Only the second generationers, the offspring of the migrant - of both places but not wholly belonging to either - has the knowledge to negotiate this confusion.
This sculpture creates a vital emotionally charged space in which to encounter the prints - a threshold to be crossed out of the gallery space, adding an emotional response to the visual encounter.
Medium:etching and aquatint on fine art paper. lithography on fine art paper. sculptural installation.
Size:60cm x 42cm; 60cm x 72cm; 60cm x 42cm
This is an important process of acceptance.
But there are positives to be taken from these things too.
For the next stage of my work I look to focus on these positives; building on acceptance to use elements from my heritage to express how that heritage has given me a unique perspective and identity that allows me to flourish in the present.
This proposed exhibition is the first step in this direction.
If you are interested in discussing the work or any opportunities for funding please do get in touch.
F330156 (no place like home part 2)
Hidden ghost image
Selection of spreads
10.5cm x 15cm
Edition of 15
“Our concern with history is a concern with preformed images already printed on our brains. Images at which we keep staring, whilst the truth lies elsewhere, away from it all, somewhere as yet undiscovered.”
“…I regularly set off to explore the outlying districts of the city… to walk through the empty Sunday streets taking hundreds of banlieu-photographs, as I called them, pictures which in their very emptiness, as I realised only later, reflected my orphaned frame of mind.”
- W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz
A history of economic displacement repeats itself as I am forced out of the central London of my childhood to a suburban hinterland. I wander around these unknown areas and photograph, comparing them to 'home'. But did the place I remember as home ever actually exist as I remember it? Is it not a construction of memory? Just as the image I am creating of these alien streets is a construction, dependent on what I chose to leave out of the frame. This is just one of many possible Londons. Picture postcard London is another. Created for tourists. The image of London sold abroad, obscuring the London of my childhood in plain sight. It is conspicuous by its absence.
Medium:Handmade, blizzard-bound, risograph and screen printed artist's book
Size:10.5cm x 15cm
London Andraground Pamphlet Front — Digital print on brilliant white semi-gloss paper 15.65cm x 22.18cm (when open flat)
London Andraground Video — headphones recommended
London Andraground Map
London Andragroud Pamphlet
15.65cm x 22.18cm (when open flat)
"what we are seeking … through our religious accumulation of personal accounts, documents, images and all the 'visible signs of what used to be', is what is different about us now; and 'within the spectacle of this difference the sudden flash of an unfindable identity. No longer a genesis, but the deciphering of what we are in the light of what we are no longer.'"
-Marc Auge, quoting Pierre Nora
In response to Patterson abstracting the tube map from its representational purpose, I thought about how the map for me as a Londoner is as much a map of personal history as well as a transport schematic.
Place names each with an emotional or historical association.
But some not. Some I have never been to. Have no idea about.
Delete those. What remains is MY London.
MY London, with place names derived from a history I do not share.
After reading Auge’s Non-Places I decided to assert the voice of personal experience - to raise personal history to the level of dominant social history - by renaming remaining stations after my own experiences and associations, thereby converting a transport schematic into a map of a life lived. In contrast to Patterson’s abstraction, the association between place and memory is key, even if this is solely as a trigger; as Edward Casey tells us those memories, that nostalgia, now inhabits the 'placeless'.
This work was originally intended to act as a slightly cryptic exhibition guide, distributed to viewers to provide an ‘in’ to the themes that unlock the rest of my work, handily pocket-sized like the pamphlet Tube maps of the pre-smartphone age.
Medium:Digital print on brilliant white semi-gloss paper
Size:15.65cm x 22.18cm (when open flat)
A film by Cliff Andrade (16 mins) — headphones recommended
"The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it."
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust
"Reminiscences, even extensive ones, do not always amount to an autobiography … For autobiography has to do with time, with sequence and with the continuous flow of life. Here, I am talking of space, of moments and discontinuities. For even if months and years appear here, it is in the form they have at the moment of recollection."
- Walter Benjamin, A Berlin Chronicle
Unable to go for a real walk due to the lockdown, I went for a virtual wander.
A rumination on the unique mental space entered into when walking; a world of memory non sequiturs and layered thought.