My multi-media practice involves the observance and visual comment relating to the current and historical perception of femininity, with all its nuances. I am interested in how the related facets are interlinked with eroticism.
Initially, I observed the typical binary roles present in my early life provided by parents, siblings, and peers. It was intriguing and puzzling to engage with and observe the roles supported by silent gender rules which society presented.
Within my practice, I have created a balance of images, textures and colours to evoke an uneasy tension which is both intriguing and questioning. The effect is visually pleasant but, upon closer inspection, discomfort rises to the fore.
Social and cultural input over the years has contributed, sometimes in a subtle manner, sometimes not, to the continual gender identity research and observance I have employed. Each infinitesimal nugget was mixed with my associations and subtly moulded my voice and position. Our journeys, with their unique stimuli, are so personal, I wonder how individuals can ever share anything in common. Does this serendipity create an artist?
Rauschenberg’s multi-disciplinary approach consisting of printmaking, drawing, photography, painting, image transfer, assemblage, sculpture, resonates deeply with me. I endeavour to emulate his spontaneous approach when incorporating similar aspects some of which are found in the works of Linder, Jasper Johns, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and numerous others. My prints consist of a mix containing etching (hard and soft ground), dry-point, aquatint, collagraphs, photopolymer (direct and photographic exposure, photoetching (direct and photographic exposure), silk screening, drawing, photography, monoprint and applied found objects.
The emphasis in my practice is to provide wisps of feminine signifiers which enables the viewer to evoke and question their own engagement, irrespective to the experience I link with. Female identity, gender fluidity and the blurring of stereotypical role presentations, weave throughout my practice. In a selection of prints, appropriate text is lifted from the public domain and applied, subsequently supporting or repudiating the presented whisperings.
I have endeavoured to incorporate Jerzy Kozsinski’s ethos, ‘The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.’ The stimulation of the senses through the plethora of selected stereotypical psycho-sensory triggers featured in my prints should provide a greater depth of experience for the viewer and myself. My relationship with the signifier may hold no resemblance to that of the viewer’s and this is acceptable – even desired.
An appropriate Judith Butler quote is, ‘I think we won't be able to understand the operations of trans-phobia, homophobia, if we don't understand how certain kinds of links are forged between gender and sexuality in the minds of those who want masculinity to be absolutely separate from femininity and heterosexuality to be absolutely separate from homosexuality.’
I hope the viewer engages with my images thereby facilitating an adventure through an open portal to their private cerebral and emotional responses. It is sufficient to enjoy the journey without having to understand it.