Black Blood

“I would define it as a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement...”  
- Svetlana Boym 2013

Through fragmentary information growing up, I learned about my Romany Gypsy heritage through stories and speculation. An ancestor of mine was stabbed through the heart, owing money for land; another used to sell pegs; and Liz used to pick hops - or so I’m told.

This work tries to deal with the folkloric feeling toward being a distant Gypsy, understanding the tropes through my family archive material, and a deep connection to the occult. The road, as a metaphor, strings together the feeling of transience I’ve always felt.

“Black Blood traces the 24-year-old’s family history, dealing with the folkloric feeling of being a distant Romani. Roche says that he’s “always felt quite lost in the world” and wanted to gain a deeper understanding of his identity. “The process started as a formal documentary project,” he says. “I visited Cheltenham [in Gloucestershire, where his family used to live] and went through the local library records.” But after struggling to find information, he was forced to re-evaluate his approach.”
- BJP online.

Selected features

Installation view. Free Range 2018, London.

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