Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Body of Work

Ok, this is totally different. This is not the abstract work that I usually do, or the landscape work that I enjoy doing. This is something that started a couple of years ago even though I haven't shared it until now.

In my late 40's I started thinking about where I am and where I'm going, what's expected of me as a female, what's important in my life. Maybe that's just the mid-life thing talking. Maybe it's the recent experience I've had with cancer that's adding to the conversation and giving me the feeling that's it's time to pull these pieces out of the closet and give them exposure. Maybe it's just that I'm in my 50's now. I thought about the things that women have done to themselves and to the other females in their lives over the course of centuries, from foot binding to corset wearing to plastic surgery. Things done for the sake of image, societal standing and financial survival. We did what we had to do. Do we still have to do these things? Have we evolved beyond this stage? Maybe, maybe not...

This 2-page spread in the book is about medical tourism.... these are actual vacation packages. Do you realize you can go on a cruise and have a tummy tuck and facelift at the same time?

So these thoughts turned into a book. Not your usual kind of book - this was an old book that was painted and collaged into a new work. I had seen some people doing altered books and I was fascinated by them. I love books so my first thought was - SACRILEGE! How can you do these things to a book? But then I thought.... what's wrong with transforming a discarded thing into a work of art. I found the process interesting, thought provoking, creative and challenging. Each 2 page spread became a work of art with a different story all related to the same theme. Then as the images and thoughts developed I started working on canvases that related to the book theme. In coming posts I'll show you some of those canvases. This has now turned into a series of works based on this same theme - women and body image.

As women, what are your thoughts on this issue? Ok, you're not all female out there so as a human what are your thoughts?


No comments: