[Please note that this page is in a transitional state while I revise and update it]
Skin. It’s very personal.
It’s about feelings: tactile and emotional.
The closer we become to another’s skin the more intimate our relationship to it (and them) feels. Sometimes that intimacy is entirely comfortable and appropriate of course, but back in 2012 I got interested in the strangeness, the discomfort and the vividness of experiencing an intimate perspective on unknown and sometimes ambiguous skin.
Intimacy is a doorway to vulnerability, which is another focus of mine. People’s responses to vulnerability varies widely and according to context. I am curious to see how people respond to encountering images and objects that present vulnerability, sometimes quietly sometimes very in-your-face. Form and scale are very important in this work because they alter the experience and context so much.
The sight of skin close-up taps into our tactile responses which can be powerful on their own and as a doorway to empathy. When we see skin being pressed, distorted, poked by hard steel or pointy pickets, we will have an involuntary experience of empathy. I am interested in inducing that response and also the curiosity some will have about the object or image that acted as catalyst.
I work with pattern (e.g. in my chainlink work), form (e.g. ‘Housebound’ and “Dream House’ series’) and scale (e.g. ‘Pressed/Pressing’) as a lure and also to layer on more specific context for a particular instance or series of skin. Beauty when seen at a distance, with sometimes disturbingly intimate detail up close.
IDENTITY, POLITICS, AND MORE
There is so much more embedded in my work around skin, including issues of identity, e.g. race and gender, which carry with them the baggage of politics. I will leave you to discover and interpret those for yourselves, because even when my work carries those ideas with it, as it often does, my primary vantage point is the realm of the personal.