Born 1957, London. Lives and works in Sri Lanka.
Menika van der Poorten studied photography at the John Cass School of Art (now the London Metropolitan University) and at the University of Westminster, London.
Van der Poorten’s photographic practice is informed by her experience of living between different cultures and communities. Identity, place and the ‘marking of presence’ is a recurring theme in her work. Her current work focuses upon communities that experience displacement and are in a ‘state of flux’.
Inspired by her own family history, mixed race descendents of European settlers who came to Sri Lanka during the British colonial times, her aim is to contextualise the ‘presence and present’ of the Eurasian community through their stories. The research has involved photography, interviews and collecting material on the Eurasian community (particularly those that had a connection with the tea and rubber plantation sector).
Selected Exhibitions (Solo)
Boys Own’ Red Dot Gallery, Theertha Artists Collective
Portraits of pre adolescent Boys- growing up
‘Timepieces’, Lionel Wendt Art Gallery
On memory, spaces and personal stories
‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ National Art Gallery Colombo
UNHCR commission on displaced Muslim women in Puttalam.