My practice is concerned with the theories of abjection, the grotesque feminine and the domestic. In exploring these theories, I seek to understand the role they play independently and together, in forming the archetype of the ‘monstrous woman’ or ‘femme castratrice’.
Interested in this relationship between the monstrous feminine and the abject female body, I explore how my female body, female sexuality, and feminine sexual behaviour play into this perceived notion of feminine monstrousness.
As a means of investigation, I gather tactile and visual information from my own lived experience of womanhood and the abject behaviours and processes required to make my body function. My work takes the form of painting, sculpture and installation, to produce subversive objects which subvert the viewers understanding of the materiality and origins of the imagery being presented to them. Visually, my practice deals with deconstructed female form, breaking them down into flat suggestive blocks of colour and line, allowing the imagery to remain spontaneous. This reduction in pictorial representation allows the focus of the work to be on using the sculptural and physical qualities of the object.
Aesthetically, my work is inspired by domesticity, craft ‘bad-ness’, DIY techniques and low culture mass produced pound land tat. Choosing deliberately garish, ugly and kitsch materials is a play on the abject nature of such objects when considered in the context of typical fine art institutions. Crafting as a typically feminine pass time allows for connections to be drawn between my visual material decisions and stereotypes regarding gendered processes and behaviours. Interested in the grotesque nature of the low culture object, I like to push the expectations of these to the excessive, allowing the objects to take on their own reality as an abject entity.
Photography by Paul Marshall