– – – Under the Skin – – –
For this project, I have chosen to focus on the ins and outs of the human body. I have found myself incredibly drawn to the structure and form of our bodies, the way we are held in one piece and how everything works so well together (and sometimes how it doesn’t). As of recent my focus has taken a new leap, still following in a similar direction, however I am beginning to focus more on the different types of deformities that can interact with our bodies. Whether we are born with them, whether they begin to grow within us or are a consequence of an accident, I am interested how these situations can affect our lives, and most importantly helping people to understand this.
After taking a trip down to London to visit the Hunterian Museum, I found a strangely delightful pleasure when looking at these objects that some may find rather difficult to process. There were a range of things in there, including pre-mature babies, a monkeys head, a babies foot and even a part of the human intestine. In and amongst all of the many jars, I found myself looking at tumours. Now don’t get me wrong, tumours are absolutely awful and they are something that I am sure most people fear. But these tumours that I was looking at were alone, and separated from the body of the living thing, be that animal or human. I found myself thinking it to be rather beautiful. Out of context, it becomes completely harmless, stripped of its danger and fear. I began looking closely at the shapes, lines and textures within it and it actually formed quite a beautiful shape. Cancerous tumours are a good example of what I would like to achieve from this project, however I do intend to explore and focus on the many other diseases that the human body can experience. The fear of these diseases reaching us or a loved one is conscious in everyday life, but I would like to take a step back from that fear and vulnerability and ask the question of, do we really know why this has happened? Outside of the body, do you understand what it is? How it grows, how it lives, how it dies? If you were asked, What is Cancer… could you answer?
With my project focussing on extremely difficult and sensitive subject matter, I would like my work to be able to step in and say ‘calm down’, a reassurance almost. These are difficult topics to discuss and it would probably have a direct effect on more people than not, so this is something I am baring in mind as I work. As of recent I realised how desperately I want to make, rather than to draw or to paint. To approach my project I have decided to stick to very warm, comforting and relaxing colours. Including yellows, oranges, blues and some red and soft greys. Alongside these colours I am working with materials that also hold that same feeling of comfort, for example wool, as I plan to include knitting within my work. I am currently working with stitch and using thick thread in order to gain a soft texture upon the material. By choosing these colours and techniques, I hope to make my work approachable, inviting and comforting- the complete opposite of how that tumour would make you feel, for example. And with that, I hope to offer a deeper and wider understanding of the things we are so frightened of.