My practice is centred round narrative and storytelling, with an illustrative approach to fine art. My present focus is the creation of self-identity, in particular gender identity from a feminine perspective. Humans view themselves through words and images. We tell stories about ourselves, our people and our country, both internally and to others. The feedback loop this creates reinforces the ideas we have about ourselves, deeply affecting who we become.
My current work explores how the modern media reflects ancient storytelling practices, thus creating a feedback loop of self-viewing. In particular, it looks at how the concept of the idealised woman – and the status that beauty brings – affects women. The body of work talks about modern Western society and how the female place in it is perceived through the medium of a fictionalised neo-classical civilization, which is a semi-satirical reflection of our own. Beauty and perceived femininity take the form of a religion in this society and my pieces therefore reflect traditional religious art forms as well as the ancient art of the classical world and the slightly more archaic folk art of rural communities such as those of South America and India. As my main focus is the telling of a concept and story, the media used is less important to me than the communication of the narrative. This being the case, I will happily utilise any material or technique that puts across my meaning, including found materials which are used a great deal. Drawing and painting are my primary focus, and my main method in my current body of work, but I have also used sculpture and textile to enhance and enrich it.
Last year I began with exploring the traditions of body art and self-decoration, and how the marks placed upon the body tell the story of the wearer’s life, experiences, and place in society. This has developed into an exploration of how the body itself sets a person’s place in society, especially the woman’s body. I take inspiration from observing society around me, and looking into the development of my self-identity, and how my sense of being has been informed by these historical ideas and principles. My practice places these human behaviours and ways of thinking and being in the slightly altered context of a fable in order to more deeply examine them.