2 Layers of Skin – Layers of Life – Layers of Body Experience
Thinking through passages from Drawing Now and the quotation from Joseph Kosuth about naming “a more complex process of seeing , thinking, relating and remembering.”
So I set about naming my parts, or parts of my life from the images I have been building up:-
-1 – Pre-birth –
There is a Talmudic Saying that a child knows everything of their life, what comes before, during and after and at the moment of birth this knowledge is snuffed out only to be re-experienced in the lived life of the individual.
For this I started with the image that I had taken through the “lens” of the doll part..the far away, distant but still visible.
1 – Birth
Through the legs literally of the headless torso – who needs a head when you are giving birth? An instrument of creation. The child inert.
2. The Childhood
Again the armless doll but in the background images of the ageing skin out of focus and also the legs of the mother – still a presence, in the background, being in control. The doll is a cut out and can move around the stage of life – like one of those cardboard theatre pieces on a stick being pulled in and out by another.
Peep Show – the experience of being at the same time curious and afraid. What can I see? Do I understand? What do I feel? What is happening to my body? Will it be like hers (the mother)? What does that make me feel?
4. The Woman
Laying back as if sun bathing, at ease with her body or is she? She is still headless but presents herself as confident and knowing but inside is uncertain and hesitant. Additionally she has tags – like the fold back tags that paper dolls used to have to attach their clothes to them….
4. The Mother
Using the maternity shapewear bodysuit have cut out the dark shadows – why there are no dark shadows in motherhood or are there? The enveloping garment and its collapse upon birth.
5. The Menopausal
A Topsy-turvy headless body with dark blood issuing for the last time….There is a sense of freedom as well as lack of direction and control. She floats around unable to right/write herself.
6. The Aged Crone
Just used a shot from a friend one of the few who allowed me to photograph her skin up close. Resistance from others has been strong – could use myself here later.
Interested in finding ways through the layers
What kind of surfaces or marks would project the sense of the different body experiences?
Created a random “frottage” drawing from all the different cut-out layers using a variety of materials and then rubbing back.
This says to me there are different parts of a whole, but the whole is not clear, some are more dominant than others and others have been transformed in the process – like the menopausal torso which is now a bodily form – strong and clear. The womb still exists as does the channel of birth…but other parts are less clear. Aware as I read back that I am distancing myself from these images using “other” when I perhaps should be staying in the me and mine.
For the moment the final shot of the sketchbook looking supra – 3D in front of the two drawings. In a sense a cinematic set of life with the stage props and drops awaiting in the wings or centre stage?