SELF SUPPORTING SYSTEM
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Available as a LIMITED EDITION Aluminium Art Print
(edition of 3)
Also available as a limited edition Giclée Art Print
Part of a series of self portraits
This piece explores the three elements of myself; the three people I am: mother, lover, self. All seem outwardly identical but each is actually different, formed of different experiences, different motivations, different pleasures and pains.
Each persona overlaps the others, interwoven within my life and my mind.
Each persona cradles the others, as each facet of my self supports each other one.
The three as a whole create a sense of balance, but not a perfect one. In fact the lack of perfect symmetry is unsettling, frustrating.
The inconsistent light source adds to this feeling of unsettled uncertainty, and speaks to the constant shuffling of each persona within myself, each struggling for attention or having to take the reins.
The smooth pale skin of my face contrasts with the grainy dark skin of my hands, referencing the trope of the pale, flawless female being protected by the rough, strong male. But both aspects are from one body, and the lines where these two meet is not clear.
The face, though, is more separated than the other parts of the body - almost as if the hand is sliding off a mask. This creates the immediate sense of the face shown concealing a hidden truth, and thus suggests an authenticity to the rest of the portrait.
The act of drawing each figure from scratch, rather than drawing one and triplicating it, was an important part of the process of production; trying to create exact copies, but limited by my own capabilities, and each part being affected by the parts around it in different ways, was itself a mirror of the artwork.
Keeping the tone fairly flat allows the piece to not descend into a swirling mass of bodies, but to have a stillness and wholeness - thus it is not instantly obvious what it is the viewer is looking at. This abstraction leads the viewer to find themself peering deeply and intensely at the form before realising it shows a naked body. This accidental intimacy creates the feeling of being caught looking at something forbidden, such as if someone was caught looking at my private thoughts. In this I hope to create the sense of peeping uninvited, albeit into my mind not at my body.
The image could be placed any way up, its orientation only defined by my signature. Such as how at any given moment one of my personas will be most present, with other elements suppressed or silent. In that split second of signing the artwork my ever-undulating personalities were frozen in position.