Obscuring the Figure

I have been thinking about using sections or partial bodies to describe the figure. My research into Marina Warner’s fantastic metamorphoses really set me thinking about the way that the grotesque body is cyclical and moves and changes incessantly. I am also, of course and forever, obsessed with Francesca Woodman’s potential energy in her photographs, and the playfulness and shadows. The sense that someone was there, or would be there, or could be there, but isn’t. This represents playing, hide and seek, or maybe a sense of unease, of disappearing, of mortality. I played around with backgrounds with varying degrees of layers, patches of colour, and detail. I quite like the way that the figure drawn on top of the surface began to recede, and how some limbs all segments of the body would emerge depending on the colour that was behind. I really felt that I needed some sort of official reference point for my ideas because I began to make things up. This was not particularly accurate or imaginative and I really felt that there was a lack of authenticity in what I was doing. I got really interested in the way that you can obliterate parts of the body, by using additional payment over a surface or robbing out sections. I have also been looking at sculptural pieces in one colour, predominantly marble, and which sections of the body become most prominent. I also really like the way that you can look from different angles and it shows sections or different versions of the same scene. This again links with my idea of narrative, and possibly viewpoints, so if you are visiting a piece at any particular time may have a different experience to one who was encountered the work before after or in fact simultaneously. This is due to their own experience, and also the context that they see the work in. I decided that the only way that I could really create a real sense of the body vanishing was the station photographs which showed spontaneous movement and the body being obscured. I considered different options but decided to use fabric because of its weight and it’s fluid nature.

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