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Critical Practice

Gaby Jonna

In my practice, I work with the body to explore interiority, trauma and plasticity. I paint, sculpt, and perform using bodily intelligence, and use this exploration to create a body of work. Currently, I'm living and working in London.



Sponsors

Prins Bernhard Cultuurfond

Van Proosdij-Beckers Fonds

Fundatie van Renswoude

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Second floor

My current work, Reflections of a Bodily Landscape, explores the anatomy of human transformation processes – metamorphoses – from a rigid form, into a fluid shape. This theme encompasses boundaries, transformation, and trauma. Through my work, I research how the body can guide us in venturing into this fluid shape.

I am concerned with how society today deals with trauma; how the space we create for trauma is often one where we ask the body to be resilient. A space where we perhaps forget to pay attention to our body. As human beings we have encountered and often revolved from countless natural and man-made disasters. These experiences leave traces, on our bodies, on our families, passed down through generations as well as in larger scale on our cultures and histories. On our personal landscapes and the landscapes we share.

I have commenced to fully acknowledge my landscape which I now start to embrace as the bodily landscape I am. The landscape created by all my experiences, and memories, in a way connecting all these parts of me that were before in silos unconnected, now to all parts of me. All these elements inform my practice and I will continue to explore and implement these methods to give a body to my practice. 



The work Reflections of a Bodily Landscape explores the anatomy of human transformation processes – metamorphoses – from a rigid form, into a fluid shape. This theme encompasses boundaries, transformation, and trauma. Through my work, I research how the body can guide us in venturing into this fluid shape. The work consists of the Contained vessels, the Reflections sliver and bodyscape Irreversible.

Vessel 1 - Ear left, 29.5 x 22.5 x 22 cm
Vessel 4 - Shoulder, 30 x 27 x 20 cm
Vessel 8 - Knees, 30 x 23.5 x 24.5 cm
Vessel 7 - Belly, 30 x 21 x 21.5 cm

These vessels are a metonym for the primary rigid form of human transformation processes. It resembles the interplay between a rigid body, and the shape of containment. Exploring the presence and absence of body at the same time. A body in search of a place of attention and acknowledgement, creating a space of consolation.

Medium:

Jesmonite

Size:

250 x 300 cm

Bearing witness to a small silver unfolded vessel - the sliver - on a brass rod, a reflection in the space. The rod is reaching out to the spot where containment and consolation has been given a place. The unfolded vessel, the sliver, the first glimpse of metamorphosis. Giving shape to fluid reflection to imagine and explore a morphing body.

Medium:

Silver and brass

Size:

145 x 84.5 x 2 cm

The bodyscape painting was created using a hacked stethoscope microphone to my heart area and a microphone for breathing to listen to the sound of the autonomous body. I used the sound to guide my movement, completely allowing the body in its state of being to speak for itself, by transferring these movements onto the canvas, while moving. Haptic and somatic exploration of what it means to occupy a crumbling corporeal body moving into its fluid form, being present and the reflections following.

Medium:

Oil paint and oil pastels on corner canvas, jesmonite feet

Size:

186 x 186 cm x 186 x 186 cm ∟90 ̊