April 30, 2020

What does the word ident1ty mean to you? Who are you really? Can you be an individual as well as belonging to the “hive mind”?

Jeff Foot

Acrylic on canvasThe Power of 1, 202018" x 14"

Hate is evident everywhere we look, with ident1ty encouraging intolerance. But what does ident1ty really mean? Every 1 the same? Every 1 in their allotted place, socially distanced? Look closer: Every 1 is different as well, different shape, colour, slightly different size. And 1 is very different – size, colours, leaning. An individual, standing out from the crowd. Do they belong? Apparent contradictions between homogeneity and diversity hinder deciding what our ident1ty is, collectively and as individuals, making us susceptible to slogans fostering intolerance. I made this picture to encourage people to think about this, hoping some might realise differences are sometimes illusory – a virus only recognises ident1ty at species level after all and our DNA is less than 0.1% different to each other. My perception of ident1ty stems from my values, recently reaffirmed in my voting choices in the Scottish Independence and Brexit referendums. This painting illustrates the concept, others will explore tangible and intangible features – biological traits like fingerprints, and personal tastes e.g. music – ultimately, the “whole” of a triptych being more help in defining ident1ty than the sum of the parts – the concept, genetic identity, and phenotypic drivers of cultural identity.