Personal Statement

Embodiment:

/ɪmˈbɒdimənt/

noun

  • “perceptual experience and model of presence and engagement in the world.”
  • “phenomenology of movement, sensation, metaphor and emotional transmutation”
  • “inner sense of intuition or sensibility” [Kant (1978/1800)]
  • comprised of “five external senses plus proprioception (our sense of being in a body and orientated in space)
  • evidenced in  “practice [which] includes everything that falls under Mauss’s (1950) classic notion of techniques of the body – swimming, dancing, washing, ritual breathing in meditation, posture […] in which the body is at once tool, agent and object.”
Adapted from: Csordas, T. J (1994) Introduction: the body as representation and being-in- the-world. In: Csordas, T. J. (ed.) Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.4-16.


 

My practice has continually explored the body as a means of image production since graduating in 2009. I am interested in ‘proprioception’, our sense of being in a body and orientated in space, so most of my work aims to make sense of, or acts as a document or record of perceptual experiences in particular places and times. As a result, my work normally has a site-specific element because it tends to arise out of a close research investigation and exploration of a particular place. For example mapping the historical and contemporary boundaries of Roath over a three week period (Milkfloat Projects, 2013).

Since the advent of post-modernity, we have been faced with an increasingly performative and mediated culture which bears much critical reflection. The body, particularly the female or ‘othered’ body, has been marginalised, disenfranchised and undermined. Yet, somatic methodology and the philosophies of embodiment talk about the body’s capacity to both learn and to create knowledge outside of and in critique of systems of power: the body is both tool, agent and object. The philosophical turn to practices of embodiment as a means to engage politically with the states of the body underpins my recent screen-printing process, which is designed to record minute shifts in bodily pressure. The large scale of the work deliberately exacerbates, makes strenuous and draws attention to the movements. The medium of print is layered with association to the mechanisation and production of the modern era, mass dissemination, as well as to modes of political dissent. By creating a performance of endurance, where over the six days my body was increasingly unable to perform the task of printing, I hoped to draw attention to the neo-liberal and capitalist reductionism of human value as directly connecting to productivity.

My work can be seen to sit within the context of printmaking in the “expanded field”. In this area we have seen dynamic and challenging uses of print extending the boundaries of the practice over the last decade or so. Performance Art (in its various guises) has formed part of this interdisciplinary expansion of printmaking. For example: Live ‘print’ events and ‘Happenings’; interactive ‘live’ printmaking workshops; travelling or portable print ‘machines’; interdisciplinary/ collaborative projects (theatre and print/ dance and print/ sound and print) and use of the body and action to make marks in print etc. all of which have become a means of raising awareness of printmaking processes as part of this wider desire to reimagine and reignite interest in printmaking (Hyland and Joyce, 1997; Graham, 2004; Behrman, 2006; Huebsch, 2006, For relevant artists see list below*) . As well as helping to raise printmaking’s profile, these methods are becoming a profound approach to conceptual, critical, philosophical and political discourses on contemporary life.


 

*Artists/ Art events using print and performance:

  • Nathaniel Stern ‘Compressionism’ and ‘Rippling Images’,
  • Pilar Nadal ‘Tired Press’,
  • Ann Hamilton ‘Paper Chorus’,
  • Darren Van De Merwe ‘The Printer’s Grey,
  • Sofia Larroca and Ana Wahren Brie ‘SA Oficina de Estampas’,
  • Scott Kolbo and Lance Sinnema ‘Escalation Final’,
  • Chris Dunne & Phil Eastwood ‘Performance print situation’,
  • Sarah Bodman ‘An exercise for Kurt Johannessen’,
  • The San Francisco Center For The Book ‘Roadworks’, a Steamroller Prints And Street Fair,
  • Helen Brown, Ann D’Arcy Hughes, Brenda Harthill, Bernard Lodge, Hugh Ribbans and Jane Sampson ‘Roadroller’ Brighton Art Fair,
  • Joel Gailer and Michael Meneghetti ‘PERFORMA PRINT’
  • Kyle Durrie ‘Moveable Type’
  • Maurice Carlin ‘Performance Publishing’

 

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One thought on “Personal Statement

  1. Hello this statement puts me in mind of a body of photographic work I completed titled ‘Spaces and Gaps’ it was documenting just that. My own angle was to document the spaces left behind by the ever changing face of the inner city, in my case I photographed in and around the Roath area of Cardiff such sites as say a closed fuel station due for change of use of land , these areas spring up from time and sit unused some for long periods where others appear only momentarily before they are transformed.
    I found Elizabeth Tomos and her project to be most appealing.

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