What does it mean to be an asylum seeker in the UK? This was the starting point of Ivin’s research, which began at a drop-in centre in Cardiff, Wales and continued all over England.
The result is a series of 28 portraits, where the eyes have been scratched out: once arrived in the UK, these migrants find themselves in a state of limbo, having to await news of their application for asylum for months or even years. They become “lingering ghosts”.
Physically scratching the faces of these 28 migrants is a way to powerfully convey the cruel loss of self, and the confusion that befalls them as they wait to learn their fate.
Ivin’s work offers a contemplative take, away from the glaring lights of the media. Despite being represented without their eyes, these people do have an identity and we recognise them as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters – human beings, after all.