In September I will be taking part in the next Black Swan Guild exhibition - it is called BODY:art, and I am lucky enough to be curating the show. It explores themes surrounding the body, body adornment, decoration and marking. An exploration of personal expression, tribal belonging, and the use of the body in art.
We came up with a bunch of associated words:
EXPRESSION RITUAL DECORATION INDIVIDUAL
PERSONAL UNIQUE SCARIFICATION JEWELLERY
ADORNMENT EYES SKIN HAIR BONES
BLOOD INK FLESH OCHRE DUST
HENNA WOAD RING TATTOO PAINT
PIERCE MARKINGS HAIR HEART
SYMBOL PATTERN SCRATCH SLASH TRIBAL
BELONGING IDENTITY THREATEN EMPOWER
DISGUISE REVEAL EMBLAZEN BRAND
The work that I chose to make is based on a 17th century fad that has long fascinated me – Eye miniatures or Lovers’ eyes. They were miniatures, normally watercolour on ivory, depicting the eye or eyes of a spouse, loved one or child. Usually commissioned for sentimental reasons, they were often worn as rings, pendants, bracelets or brooches.
The eye can convey so much feeling and intimacy – in an age before photography – these precious objects could be gazed upon with devotion and lovers could feel close no matter the distance. As objects they are mesmerizing – and bizarre. Part portrait and part jewel.
I have created a collection as a self-portrait – they depict the most important people (and pet) in my life.
It’s incredible how unique each eye is, and just how much emotion and character can be conveyed in a look!
BODY:art takes place in the Round Tower (Black Swan Arts, Frome) from 7th September until 6th October.