Master of Fine Art School of Fine Art

Louis Syed-Anderson

My interdisciplinary practice contends with history, memory and temporality. Navigating thresholds of presence, I explore my physical sensory interaction in different environments, embodied perception, as well as connection to meaningful places.

I explore the agency of memory objects, inextricably linked to our history, focusing on their materiality and ingrained depth of temporality. Exploring our interrelationship with more-than-human landscapes, I consider spatial perception, duration, and time in relation to place; piecing together narrative fragments that we leave behind.

I convey my understanding and the essence of spaces through making and methodologies surrounding autoethnography and the haptic. Fascinated by traces of human presence, gesture and intervention in our surroundings, I observe the land’s transformation over time, weaving together (human) histories. Closely focusing into micro-scapes enables me to build a greater understanding of the fabric of the land through its minutiae and the microscopic.

I delve into my personal heritage, engaging with archives, family artefacts and storytelling. Whilst considering emotion and memory, I think about my sense of belonging and identity.

(In)visible heritage / residues of labour
Installation details

(In)visible heritage / residues of labour

Through ‘(In)visible heritage / residues of labour’, I my trace heritage and searching for a closeness to the histories that form my identity and sense of belonging. I focus on my maternal ancestry, exploring the histories of my South Asian diasporic heritage alongside generations of my South London-based roots.

Reflecting on the lives of my ancestors, I examine the material traces of inherited personal belongings, piecing together fragments of memory from the stories and artefacts passed down through generations. I reflect on the trauma, struggles, and migration of my relatives and the stories that have coloured their lives.

I explore material histories of touch, wear and interaction in their closest possessions that survive. Through sensory-focused recording of these micro-scapes, I piece together these traces. They reveal the agency of human touch and the residues of past presence in the gestural marks we leave behind. I retrace my ancestors’ footsteps, engaging with the places and artefacts that hold layers of emotional memory. Practice-based exploration of these histories unlocks clues to understand and form narrative history.

My practice draws connections to the traditions of craft and labour passed down through the generations, using materials such as printed fabric and tailor’s chalk to reflect our family’s tradition of clothes-making. Traditional printmaking connects me to my great-grandfather’s old printing press in Lucknow, India.The installation serves as an evolving archive, revealing linkages and creating new narratives. Emulating domestic forms, it touches upon a familial imaginary of home and domestic spaces where family memory is formed. Contending with loss and remembrance, I navigate and deepen my understanding of this connection to my heritage. Spending time with this history and associated traditions brings me closer to my family’s past lives.


Throughout the degree show period, I revolved and changed the selection and curation of photographic works, performing the archive. I brought together new works and curated different narrative sequences and relationships between works.