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Deshe M. Gully

Taken from 'The Suitcase'

Artist Statement

Both exhibits are bodies of photographic work based on a conversations from the artists podcast “Nah… That Doesn’t Happen.", a show that speaks to individuals' lived experiences and encounters with prejudice and/or discrimination.

The Suitcase drew inspiration from a conversation with an American-Egyptian woman on her experiences with race throughout her travels in the Global North. Throughout these experiences she is not examined as an individual, but instead for her features and what they represent in differing contexts. Here, obstruction and disfiguration are explored while placing heavy emphasis on the intimate to mirror the process of dehumanizing the subject. The landscape also tells a story in both location and progression. Whilst the subject is originally one of many in a crowd, the series shows the subject increasingly isolated.

Staying true to the conversation from which it was inspired, the series intentionally remains within an obviously western backdrop so as to remind the viewer to remain aware of not only instances that occur abroad, but also those happening in your own backyard.

The Playground follows a young British-Nigerian woman as she speaks to her experience of spending many years growing up as the only black face in a predominantly white community. The series draws inspiration from the episode in which she speaks to feeling othered, having to live by a different set of rules, and her and her family’s encounters in having to assimilate to certain situations whilst refusing to do so in others. Through the images, the artist portrays the subject experiencing isolation and loneliness as the sole participant of the playground, and her journey in finding confidence through the struggle.

Artist Biography

Deshé Gully is a media creative specializing in creating content for social and humanitarian causes. Having studied interactive practices, his work attempts to link sound and visuals to create immersive experiences that invoke various senses within his audience. From Los Angeles, California, Deshé has spent the last few years of his life acquiring global perspectives by living in various locations such as Australia and China. Through these experiences he has developed a passion for speaking to global humanitarian narratives. Through his work he hopes to share the lived experiences of his subjects, allowing their story to take precedence and guide the work over striving for visual aesthetics. Deshé has his master’s in Media Practice for Development and Social Change from the University of Sussex. Though new to the exhibiting space, he hopes to continue his work in giving a platform to voices that may otherwise not have found one. More from this series can be seen at and his work can be viewed at He can be contacted at

This work was originally displayed as part of SEAS' 2020 exhibition, 'How Do You See Colour?'. This exhibition can be viewed online here.


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