What does it mean to be clothed in a body? The body is the location of experience through sight, touch, pleasure, and pain. It can often seem like the most real part of a person because it is visible and touchable, but a person’s physicality alone cannot fully communicate the nuance and depth of the entire person. The body is a covering that both broadcasts and disguises our being. The flesh obstructs the full view of the whole self, the full ability for intimacy, the complete relationship.
Painting, collage, prints, and wearable sculptures are used to discuss the experience and meaning of being clothed in skin. Sensory aspects of experience such as touch, gaze, and physical proximity are the language of intimacy in my work and the sensory apparatus of the human body is largely used to engage the viewer in this discussion.
The sensory receptors of the human body are specialized nerve endings designed to interpret varying types of stimuli and work in concert together to provide information to the body such as its location and movement in space, taste, and tactile sensation. This apparatus is central to how we experience the world around us.
Some of the elements of the sensory system which I explore are Pacinian corpuscles- bulbous nerve endings with onion-like layers, which are able to sense vibration and pressure, Meissiner corpusles- capsules of tiny stacked plates with a single nerve woven throughout, which encode flutter and vibration, Merkel’s disks and Ruffini endings which respond to sustained pressure and stretch, Krause’s end-bulbs, as well as taste buds. In my work the Pacinian corpuscles are characterized as simplified loops being sweated and floating away as droplet balloons. Nerve fibers are strands drifting like ribbons across the picture plane. Skin diagrams are tumbling cubes, skin layers are pillowy blankets, and the taste filaments of the tongue are expressed as a tangle of hairs bursting from the bud. It is through this imagery that my work probes the question: what is the meaning of being in a body, and yet being made of more?