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Displaying the Female Body

Displaying the female body within art is something I’m very interested in and how people perceive it. I enjoy figurative mark-making but and I class experimenting with materials combined with the female body as mark-making.

I’ve began to experiment with displaying physical parts of my body in a sculptural or drawing form. An example of this is body prints, painting with menstrual blood, sculpting with my hair. I also enjoy using traditional sculpting and painting materials on my body to explore marks and shapes I can create with my body. Examples of these materials are paint, ink, clay, paper, tissue.

Triptychs of my body painted. Inspired by Carollee Schneemanns photographic series ‘Body Actions’ where she experimented with movements her body could make along with the marks her body made when she made these movements. My personal photographs are more based on what nudity is and why I feel more secure with a thin layer of paint covering my naked body rather than just being naked.

These photographs of my body covered in paint are also inspired by Yves Klein Blue Women. I started experimenting with body prints this year but began to enjoy the photographs I would take along with the body prints of my body covered in paint more than the actual body prints. This took me to simply painting my body and taking photographs alike to Carolee Schneemann’s preformative work.

Yves Klein:

Due to Yves Klein being a man displaying the naked female body in a new way during the 60’s there is the question of the ethics behind him doing this. Him referring to the women he collaborates with as ‘living paintbrushes’ caused some controversy as to if he’s objectifying these women. Personally I think if the artist and anyone involved in the art are all consensual this is acceptable. Below is an article on a woman named Elena Palumbo-Mosca who collaborated with Yves Klein to create these works. This is a brief example of the woman’s perspective on his work and how she felt about the controversy.

Carolee Schneemann:

When does it become rude? When is it sexual? When can’t I share it?

Experimenting with how I can share photographs of my body with no clothes on yet I’m not seen as naked. What’s the difference between being naked and nude? To me

Using my body as a canvas. Covering my body in paper machete and painting over the top. This is inspired by a photograph I found of Frida Khalo doing the same thing. This is also carrying on with the experimentation of ways I can share technically naked photos of myself but it is acceptable as I am somewhat covered by a thin layer of tissue and paint. Some may see this as me celebrating my womanhood by decorating my body and using myself as a canvas. Personally, I see this as hiding my body and coming up with a way I can share the image of my body with others without feeling too exposed.

Frida Khalo:

My work:

This is another series I created experimenting with what nudity is in art and asking myself when the distinction between what is sexual and what is figurative is. Here I wrapped my body in clay and took photographs. I then used that same clay and stuck it in a sketchbook with a body print layered over the top. I then took this one step further and created a larger piece on canvas with the clay that was wrapped around my body with a full body print layered over the top.