Artists’ Statement: This is the digital story that begins our longer work Finding Ray Johnson. Finding Ray Johnson is a story developed by two creative cousins, Canadian media artist Lorna Boschman and Australian writer/musician April Smallwood. Lorna was named after her uncle Ray, a merchant marine who passed away in 1990. Ray holidayed in the Philippines frequently. His siblings, Harvey and Gwen, sent their DNA samples for genaeological testing in 2017. Lorna helped her mother Gwen with the computer-related tasks, and expected results in September.
Meanwhile, in New South Wales, Australia, April Smallwood was surprised by her father’s deathbed declaration. He might not be her biological father. Gwen Johnson and April Smallwood submitted their DNA test kits within a month of each other. Test results revealed their biological connection – Gwen was April’s aunt, Lorna had a new first cousin, and Ray had a daughter he did not know of.