Artwork Title: Epidermis

Design Statement

Human attraction is perhaps one of the most bizarre phenomena one can experience, and it still largely remains an enigma.  What I find particularly intriguing is that skin (in scent and appearance) seems to be a common link: it is the site of primal, instinctual forms of attraction, but also that which we attempt to augment to increase physical appeal.

This work explores the nature of human attraction, particularly in a commercial society where paradigms are pushed upon consumers so that we perceive natural aspects of our outer bodies as grotesque and repulsive. I wish to challenge the viewer’s perception of attraction through an amalgamated dichotomy of the mundane imperfection of human biology and the commercialisation of illusions of beauty. The textures involved are not visually appealing, evoking responses of disgust to objects normally reserved for representing ideals. In doing so, I hope to investigate the relationship between organic and artificial, and subvert expectations of what is considered ‘attractive’.

I took macro photographs of the minute details of human skin, exploring how what appears ideal externally can be imperfect upon closer observance. 

Working with porcelain was a considerable risk for me, considering my lack of experience in sculptural media; however, I believe it to be a risk worth taking, as physicality and three-dimensional form is vital in emphasising exaggerated textures. In assembling my sculptures, I have learnt techniques of slab construction, casting from moulds, and the application of glazes and lustres, to create semi-surrealistic hyperbolic representations of human skin, with gold lustre alluding to ideas of luxury associated with items such as perfume bottles. Throughout this process I drew influence from the contemporary work of Roger Hiorns, Andrea Hassler and Felix Deac, namely their fusion of the natural and unnatural that curiously evokes dual responses of aversion and fascination.

Work In Progress