Amber Ablett – My Fathers Left

Amber Ablett – My Fathers Left

Commissioned by

Photo credits Thor Brodreskift / Borealis 

Bergen based artist and writer Amber Ablett presents a new installation titled My Fathers Left.

The work explores fatherhood from the perspective of children from the African diaspora. The collaborative research project takes the form of a 5-channel sound and video installation – a poetic sonic essay and mixtape drawing on a breadth and variety of experiences.

The work begins with the artist’s own exploration into how the narratives that British, Norwegian and Western society has taught us about Black fatherhood shaped and warped the way she saw her relationship with her own father, and the ways in which colourism and internalised racism seep in. Installed in the gallery space USF Visningsrommet, the work sits within a wooden listening structure based on wooden stands used to hold up boats when they are brought onto dry land, connecting these personal stories, back to the stories of fathers that have travelled across seas.

As a Black woman of Irish, Trinidadian and British heritage living in Norway, Amber’s work  creates a space for questioning, communality and critical thinking; she is interested in how we learn about ourselves through learning about other people and the conflict between our internal and perceived sense of home.

My Fathers Left explores the narratives around Black fatherhood, from the perspective of children of the African diaspora. The project has included a series of workshops for BIPOC in 2023, about the fears and vulnerability of storytelling, and in 2024 with Touki, a Bergen-based Black arts collective, about poetic tactics for repeating, implanting and reclaiming our own stories.

The sonic essay is shared as an installation, comprised of five sound channels- a mixtape played through a boombox and a video on a monitor within a wooden listening structure which holds four speakers. The work weaves together tracks from Trinidadian and Caribbean calypso, soca and reggae, a British police show from the 1990s, storytelling and writings from W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and others. The shape of the wooden structure is based on the wooden stands that are used to hold up boats when they are brought onto dry land.

A prologue to the sound installation, which was co-written during the 2023 workshops, was played at the opening Borealis Festival in 2023.

Installation photos: Thor Brødreskift for Borealis 2024.
5 minute video excerpt

Commissioned and presented by Borealis in collaboration with BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts.
Supported by Arts and Culture Norway, The Audio and Visual Fund & City of Bergen. Part of New Perspectives for Action – a project by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the European Union.

Said Warya – synth composition
Conrad Parris – voice over
Isak Wingsternes – installation audio engineer, mixed in Duper Studio
Edison Hango – research assistance

This work is available for touring!
Contact for Presentations:




Bergen (NO)