My name is Linnéa Haviland and I am a visual storyteller based in London. My work focuses on the politics of representation and how this links to the politics of identity and identity formation. I am interested in the way structural inequalities are perpetuated and normalized through visual culture, and the impact this has on people's lives.
Communication of ideas in contemporary visual culture is often based on accessing and identifying with oppressive narratives to understand the visual message; in other words communication is made dependent on stereotypical representation. I am interested in how this form of communication impacts identity formation and expression, but also how it governs and limits the historical and contemporary imagination. Why is it possible to make a film where Abraham Lincoln is a vampire hunter, but not a historical film with a black woman playing any other character than a maid?
I work mainly with documentary animation and illustration, using an experimental multimedia approach to draw attention to the constructed nature of documentary narrative. A collaborative approach is central to the way I work, making it possible to highlight the experience of others while simultaneously undermining the hierarchy between artist and subject. For the short film 'A Different Category', commissioned by Gerald Moore Gallery, I worked collaboratively together with three young women exploring how representation of femininity and girlhood shape and limit self expression and exploration. Through group discussion we approached these issues, especially as they intersect with body, gender and race. Afterwords we experimented with different types of media as an artistic exploration of our thoughts on the subject. The outcome was a film made of stereoscopic photographs, animated over and collaged together with hand-drawn animation, with a narrative voiceover cut together from our discussions.
Collaboration also becomes an essential part of the material process. I like choosing materials and processes which connects with the subject matter of the project and the people involved, engaging with the different experiences and meanings that different materials and media can represent. Working in this way means I use many different visual media and techniques to find ways of communicating emotions. To be able to do this I seek out learning new ways of visual expression, from sculpture to printing, exploring what feelings different materials and techniques bring up.
Ultimately I believe art speaks to us on an emotional level, and has the power to change our ways of seeing. My work centers around understanding art as a way of growing and healing through the act of experimentation, self expression and reflection.