Artist statement

My piece is based on the coming together of science and art. I worked around the concept of depicting a disease in relation to the human body. I incorporate the idea of our own impending mortality through the use of fragile and exposed material which is snake skin.

My initial idea began with looking at the characteristics of snake skin itself, I was interested in the exposed nature of the skin. Each piece is brittle and raw every piece displays a pattern of scales and a texture that is rough to touch but easy to break. I looked in detail at the relation between snake skin and human skin and began to look into how similar to a snake we grow and “rebirth” ourselves every seven years when all our cells replenish. I began to move on from the skin itself and looked into what happens under it, I did a great deal of research on how as we age the skin is the first tell tale sign to what’s happening in our bodies below the surface. I began to look into how oxygen cells begin to get slower and over time our skin becomes tired and frail our antibodies begin to slow down and overall we begin to die.

 

After looking into cells I began relating my piece to a snake, what cells do we have as humans that snakes don’t? or have little of? I took an interest in fat cells however my piece began to drift into the bracket of preserving death or even becoming a piece that celebrates life and its fragility. Cells under a microscope is something that I find interesting and also beautiful I began to look into osteoporosis which is also known as the silent killer. I find the disease as a whole so captivating, bones as a whole are dense and strong but as we age they become brittle and this deteriation is something I decided I would display.

I then began to look into the nature of viruses and their chaotic nature in comparison to the structure of osteoporosis. The chaotic positioning of the skin relates to the “hairy” nature of a virus. I found it important to make the piece “3d” the pile of skin on the floor indicates our growth and also incorporates a morbid element to the piece, each piece emphasises the idea that after leaving the safety of the womb every breath we take we are closer to death.

Overall I am pleased with the final outcome of a displayed virus however I would have hoped to display the aesthetics of a virus more efficiently by perhaps incresing the amount of snake skin used to over lap each other and become more 3d. I appreciate the subtlety of the piece but am undecided in whether the piece is too subtle. Is the piece displayed in such a way that mimics the beauty of the structure under a microscope or does the piece display snake skin as a material. On the other hand, the subjective aspect mimics life in regards to  our own individual journey.

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Theese are a close of up the cluster skin cells in many ways I find them beautiful, they are brittle and so detailed. The transparency and textures of the skin is really apparent however I do find them in some ways chaotic which isn’t a characteristic of the structured and careful lifestyle you would lead with osteoporosis However, this made me re evaluate the question of what am I portraying, am I portraying the disease itself in regards to aesthetics or am I portraying the impact it has on every day to life.

Cluster skin

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I began to look at snakeskins relation to osteoporosis, not just the fragility but the aesthetic. I created a cell like structure by creating small circles to experiment with a 3d design. I began to stretch the skin to cover the cells this would expose the pores and the details of the skin, I then began to layer them on top of each other which created a sort of cluster as they began to lose that strict structured design I had began with. Overall I find them interesting but yet again I don’t feel they display my intentions effectively.

Developing ideas

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I decided I would focus on the legs I due to the fact that there are 62 bones in the legs making them extremely fragile to a person with osteoporosis. I drew them in a way that they were spread apart in a sort of squat position. The piece itself looked like a chicken wish bone which despite being interesting is not the plan I had intended. I also encountered another problem, to do a collograph the material itself has to be completely flat and the snake skin due to its fragile nature would not cooperate, also without the outline of the drawing it was not obvious what the image was meant to be. Therefore, I became accepting of the fact that maybe my piece was not meant to be 2d.

Developing ideas

img_0849I began to display the limbs of these moving figures using snake skin due to its textures resemblance to osteoporosis under a microscope. I found my first piece unsuccessful as despite the aesthetic being “interesting” its not clear what the image represents. I feel like the image may be too “busy” therefore for my next expierment im going to focus on one section of the human body and mirror it to display a structure that links directly to bone.

developing ideas

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I decided I would make a collagraph so I wanted to relate osteoporosis to a 2d image. After researching the disease, itself I discovered that it is more commonly found in women, also due to it being known as a “silent killer” subtlety was an important element for my piece. I began by drawing out moving figures I wanted to look into focusing on the joints such as the legs and arms and with these I would stick snake skin down.

Collagraphs- Stefan Barton

glare-1After looking in depth at the disease osteoporosis I began to look into ways in which I could display the disease in a way that would depict the beauty it displayed under a microscope. I began to layer snake skin upon itself to highlight the texture of the skin itself and the relation it had to the disease. However, it became blocky and began to overpower the fragile nature of not only the disease but the material itself.

I referred back to my previous print work and became interested in the idea of printing. I looked into collagraphs and the way in which it used textures and light to create an image. In particular, I became inspired by Stefan Bartons work the piece “Glare 1” has similarities to a cell under a microscope. The image itself is interesting and highlights an element of decay. The printing method has allowed a texture to become apparent which  has resemblance to possibly mould or even the idea of growing penicillin in a petri dish.

The emphasis on the lighting enables the central image to be the focus of the piece whilst the meaning of the piece as a whole is unknown and purely subjective which is something that I want my piece to mirror. The work relates to my piece in regard to the idea that despite it being a still image it makes you think of your own human body. The petri dish like style enables me to think about what happens within my body such as antibodies, viruses and even the day to day bacteria that survives within me.