My work visualizes difference, interiority and multiple interpretations of embodied knowledge within a cultural moment that acknowledges the adaptability and shifting nature of the body. My intention articulates the blurring boundaries of human existence, corporeal assumptions and the historical break from fixed concepts of the physiological body. From this perspective, the ‘concrete’ body is confronted and replaced with new possibilities of being that extends beyond the superficial flesh.
My approach to image-making is mutable, much like the experience of the body. Working from an ever-growing collection of found images – from early anatomical and medical illustrations to photographic images of bodily rarities, oddities, conditions and growths, to fashion magazine spreads – the foundation of my practice takes up a collage aesthetic. The images are themselves malleable and open-ended, as I delve into the body’s variability to find exquisiteness in its resilience. Working with imagery that may be described as ‘grotesque,’ ‘disgusting,’ and ‘ugly,’ but also equally truthful, real and bodily, I embrace and even celebrate the abject beauty of our whole bodies, perceptible and concealed.
A drawing-centered practice permits immediacy in its process, and flexibility in both material and method. The materiality of the watercolour – its unpredictability and fluidity – mimics the body’s changeability: the colours bleed into one another, spreading, blending, and reacting where the brush touches the watery surface. Reminiscent of a wound altering the surface of the skin, a bruise blooming purple, or blood flowing from a laceration, the watercolour shifts and dries with unexpected results. Despite their vivid, viscerous nature, the drawings maintain a sense of delicacy: an impermanent medium on a fragile surface.
From an arts-research perspective, the studio becomes the site for experiencing, investigating, altering and confronting the body, emphasized in the process of making. Both deeply personal and universal, I engage corporeal peculiarities, frailties and imperfections as a way to express what it feels like to have and to be a body. The drawings and sculptural objects in this exhibition represent close to a decade of work and are an expression of phenomenological experience through arts-research. Like the body, my practice continues to alter, adapt and change, making way for new encounters, new experiences – the drawings too remain sometimes mysterious, often unapologetic, and always visceral.