The New Normal Memorial

Tanoa Sasraku

Born in 1995 and raised in Plymouth, Devon, Tanoa Sasraku works with themes examining the intersections of her identity as a young, bi-racial, gay woman and the endeavour to draw these senses of self together as one, in 21st century England. Sasraku is based in London England. Her practice shifts between film making and flag-making. She graduated from the BA Fine Art Course at Goldsmiths College in 2018, is a an artist at Cell Project, London, and will be commencing her studies at the Royal Academy Schools in 2021.

Tanoa Sasraku

“An A1 composition on cartridge paper based around the motif of a tower, rendered in hazy soft, stenciled pastel, a motif that I have been considering and developing during the lockdown period. The tower stands as a capitalist structure through which to ascend, to aim for or to leap from, with reference to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Taking the pertinent and sobering image of the falling man from the aforementioned event, plunging through a rainbow, arcing over the tower. The rainbow as a fay, neo-liberal co-option of the queer community’s vast, nuanced and heavy existence in this country is an image I would like to convey as overwhelming, almost as a dust cloud rolling into the scene. At the base of the tower, two characters respond to the scene. The Sun peeks round the side of the tower and through the rainbow, which it has helped to create, looking up at the falling figure with naïve shock and terror. The Sun appears to have blonde, Caucasian hair, combed into smooth tendrils. The Cloud sits on the road, in a puddle and is being rained upon. It stares up at the falling figure solemnly, yet unsurprised. The Cloud with afro hair, combed into the structure of a cartoon-esque cloud form. Both the Sun and the Cloud rendered in soft pastel and lino print. Finer elements of the composition, such as the falling man and raindrops are rendered via graphite and soft pastel rubbings.

This work presents the cyclical nature of political response to national emergencies resulting from governmental negligence. The Sun and the Cloud represent the racialised and often polarised civilian response to events such as 9/11, Coronavirus, foreign policy and police brutality.

My aim with this work is to create a political cartoon of sorts, which is both heavy and hazy in its tone. I play with a new format in terms of the canon of my practice, whilst employing craft-based techniques which I have been developing over the past 5 months of gestation”. Tanoa Sasraku