Intimacy In An Age of Physical Absence 2020

Intimacy In An Age of Physical Absence 2020 


Acrylic, body enhancing products, flavourings, fabric, polyvinyl, ink, hair, and collage on canvas

170 x 130 cm (displayed on cermaic tiles)


︎ Summary

How does a pandemic affect certain people adversely. How some individuals living alone or those with health conditions, or queer people are increasingly isolated.

Amongst all the fears and anxieties of the pandemic on the outside world, is this internal struggle for intimacy and closeness. The modes in which some rely upon intimacy have changed and depleted in these times.

This painting started as an experiment. I was interested in painting the lonely ornamental male figure, looking outwards longing for touch yet surrounded by anxiety. Painted using cosmetic and body enhancing products, I'm intrigued by conveying the neurodivergent experience of feeling bones vibrate and my blood pulsate, emphasising bodily structure as a moving network. I don't see bodies like a camera does. I see and feel bodies from inside out in reverse, mainly from exposure to bodily deformities and pain as a child.

Collages around the central figure are newspaper cuttings referencing the pandemic in the news in contrast to renaissance images of angels and cherubs. Differently there are images of babies being nurtured by mothers. How do we see affection? As the figure transcends from earth he rises to be carried away to the sky to join other individuals to find peace and contentment. This is somewhat of a memoriam work not of life but present struggle.

For me art is the act of empathy, and paintings become portals to humanity. Being so verbally inept at emotionally connecting to others, my work provides that bridge. Through making is to understand myself and others.

If there is one thing we should all take from these situations is we shouldn't shame others from expressing emotion. Each individual experiences it differently and communicates it personally.

︎ Assosiated Awards

Firstsite Collectors Bursary Award, 2020