ARTIST INTERVIEW - CROP TALKS
Mosman Art Prize - Senior 2nd Prize
LOCAL ARTIST IS INTERVIEWED ABOUT HER WORK - MOSMAN ART GALLERY
WHAT IS THE WORK ABOUT?
"Wrap me” is a self-portrait about the constraints I must break through with my disability.
There are many constraints – every single day. There is the obvious physical constraint, however, my constraints and struggles are not just physical, they can be emotional, psychological, social, and educational.
Sometimes my constraints are forced on me by others, friends, family and strangers. Sometimes my constraints are placed on me by well-meaning people, and sometimes by not so well-meaning people. Sometimes it's just by the look or stares of someone.
My prosthetic legs are constraints – yet they also help to set me free.
In this self-portrait I have wrapped my body in cling wrap, I chose to do this because the wrapping and use of cling wrap also represents the prosthetic making process. I have purposely not wrapped my little leg or stump in this self-portrait because I wanted to bring attention to what I feel socially impairs me the most.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE IT?
I was doing research for my HSC major work and an entry for a scholarship I was aiming to get a place into for the summer. I was looking into photography pieces where the photographer had used materials to either wrap around themselves or another subject to show some sort of constraint. “White Gauze” photographed by Robert Mapple was one of the photographs I was inspired by.
I was also inspired by other disabled Artist that use their disabilities as a part of their work, they draw from the grief, trauma and loss and they have from their amputation and being so explicitly “different” socially. These artists are Viktoria Modesta and Mari Katayama. Like myself their works help them accept who they are and it is a segway into their crafting/art making.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE PROCESS OF CAPTURING THIS IMAGE?
Haha. This is quite funny actually. I was alone in my studio. Luckily, I was alone because I was semi-naked, in a nude coloured bra and underwear. So while I was taking these photographs of myself. I was hoping that none of the other artists who work in the studio would come in, as that would be an interesting story. It took some time to wrap myself in the cling film and I also didn’t have a tripod, so it was a bit of a balancing act of using my timer, putting my leg on and off and also hopping back and forth from camera to my stool. By the way, cling wrap is pretty hot and sweaty. I looked through all the images and chose this one, I made a few changes in photoshop, lighting levels, as I do not have a professional lighting set up, I also had to cut out a power point and a mark that was on the wall. No photoshoping on me though!
DO YOU FIND IT CHALLENGING TO FEATURE YOURSELF IN YOUR ARTWORK?
Yes…. A few years ago I would of not been able to do this, I was embarrassed and ashamed of my little leg and would not let it be seen ever, I stopped going to the pool and the beach, and at one point I would not go to school because I was in a wheelchair and on crutches. My stump has been something I have wanted to hide my whole life and I use to do so. I was obsessed with how I looked and very critical of myself. Taking this photograph was really challenging and it was hard sending this in and posting it up on my Instagram. I am different and I want to explore my difference through my artwork, I hope to help other disabled people with my exploration, by perhaps making people think.
DO YOU WORK IN ANY OTHER MEDIUMS BESIDE PHOTOGRAPHY? THE WORK IS QUITE PERFORMATIVE – DO YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN PERFORMANCE ART / PERFORMING ARTS?
I really enjoy experimenting with my art. I mess around with mixed media a lot; I find that very expressive and I have recently started to focus on technical drawing so I can develop my skills in this area. I find performance art fascinating, although I haven’t done performance art before.
I guess this could be close to performance art because I am making the audience see me, their look and stare can constrain me.
I have studied performance and drama and spent 2 years at NIDA 1 doing The Performance Lab and another doing The Young Actors Studio.
WILL YOU BE PURSUING ART MAKING IN THE FUTURE, INCLUDING STUDYING ART?
Yes – absolutely, I feel with art I have found something that frees me. I hope to study art and I am working on a body of work so that I can apply to art college.