are meat, we are potential carcasses. If I go into a butchers shop I always
think it’s surprising that I wasn’t there instead of the animal.”
Francis Bacon, The Brutality of Fact, London 1987.
body is a fascinating, complex structure. It has physical limitations,
which are often experienced through illness or death, which make it a
fragile temporary entity that cannot be controlled or preserved. As humans
of flesh and blood we are destined to age, die and decay and it is difficult
to accept the reality of death, that we are highly temporary beings with
a limited life span.
My practice involves using dead animals to represent humans. Acting as
a metaphor these animals are altered to give them human qualities. Adding
hair, lipstick or sculpting the animal’s flesh for example does
this. My medium varies from installation, photography, sculpture and drawing.
Installations consist of animal corpses placed within an environment which
forces a viewer to confront the sadness of his/her own mortality. For
example, my solo show consisted of skins hanging like jackets in a corridor,
which led to a darkened room containing, suspended, vulnerable chicken
bodies. These bodies were sculpted to appear human-like. The simple setting
left the bodies and dripping blood as the centre for concentration. The
animals have been placed within a domestic context whereby the ‘human-like’
emphasis is placed on the environment. Diane on the carpet introduces
a pig to a richly coloured room so instead of making actual changes to
the animal to make it look human, the room itself is changed into a subtle
human environment. Francis Bacon paintings have influenced me in my choice
of colours as well as his use of space.
The materials used are essential in communicating the fact that the body
exists temporarily. For example, the use of raw meat mirrors human existence
in the sense that both materials will age and deteriorate over a period
of time. This often results in sculptures or installations lasting for
a matter of days or even hours and thus could be placed within a performative
context, lasting as a memory or through documentation. Animal corpses
are also the subjects of my photographs. The glossy image aims to explore
the role of the photograph as capturing a portrait, a memory or still
moment of a subject. The medium and large format photographs hint at animals
and humans having equal importance to humans. Often my work provokes thought
about cruelty to animals and animal rights issues. I do accept these political
interpretations however it is important to state that this is not my work’s
The photographic work aims to explore the role of the photograph as a
mechanism for capturing moments or memories. Like portraits, the juxtaposition
of photographing already dead beings, hints at finality that we all face.
The medium and large format photographs allow for questions concerning
animal/human relationships to be raised.
School of Art : First Class Dergree in Sculpture
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