New year, New old me.
This year has brought about a change in my work or rather an evolution. The last 5 years I have been working on a series of pieces that have been an exploration of body image. The first pieces I had affectionately titled Grotesque de Elegance and were wheel thrown/altered voluptuous works. They were abstract and concentrated on form, trying to create forms that were disturbing yet aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I worked on them they raised as many questions as they answered.
So I did what any artist does and began to answer the new questions with new work. The evolution lead to creating works that were body castings of tied up models. Showing visually the limits we put upon ourselves to fit in to societal norms. Restraining ourselves, holding ourselves back due to how we see ourselves through others eyes. The use of the nude form brought up the question of objectification and that led to using parts and pieces from the castings to create functional objects. The human form became anonymous, became an object to be viewed and used. Much how I see social media and the internet has done to the experience of living.
This lead me down the path to dealing with the original question of body image, my body image. See for my entire life I've been a large individual, and have dealt with the bullying, low self esteem, fear, and restraining of myself so as not to be seen by society. A society in which my size is viewed as an outlier, a sickness, a thing to be despised, to be ridiculed, insulted and cast aside. It was this original question that I had been trying to answer visually, to bring front and center, to show how we all suffer from this body image no matter our size. How we all hold ourselves back from being who we are so we can fit in to societal constructs that we had no hand in building but continue to promote.
So I decided to start answering this question in a most personal way, by making myself the subject of the artwork. I decided to delve deep in to my dark abyss and confront the demons of my past, present and future. To bring the to light and show that they have power only because I have let them have power, and I'm here to take the power back.
I have spent the last 6 weeks working on this new path, and in doing so I have rekindled my sculptural spark. I started my art life as a sculptor, and made functional work as a way to satisfy that love while having sellable product. Well, I will continue making functional work, but it won't be my primary work for the foreseeable future. Sculpture, my first love, will take most of my time and energy. And that is a good thing.
So say hello to the new old me.