Babe Armenia


Joanna Kambourian


Archival Digital Print


71 x 91 cm


Work in the style of one of my favourite works, Babe Rainbow by Sir Peter Blake. One of the edition of the metal screen print used to hang in my childhood home…in the bathroom, above the toilet…I next saw a copy of this work on display, as an adult, while visiting the Albert & Victoria Museum.


This print is one of a series of altered and appropriated images of Armenian women in traditional costume, readily available on the internet, referencing my ‘digital’exploration to find more about what it means to be Armenian. My introduced patterned overlays, are intended to be reminiscent of the rugs that so famously come from the areas where my ancestors fled in 1915 – Kharpert, Ottoman Turkey. The image deliberately concealed, obscured, fragmented, and digitally artifacted – much is lost in the translation.


“…even as it is impossible to describe exhaustively and in its totality what “Armenian” is in Armenian identity, I suggest, it is the connections, the relationships, the occasions in diasporic life in the 21st century that makes a piece of music or a painting, or literature or a bowl of harissa “Armenian.” It is the memory, thought and message that a cultural object or creation represents that makes it “Armenian” by connecting it to a meaning system that is larger than an individual’s personal world.”


Hratch Tchilingirian