Little Bodies is a series of casts of a single clay sculpture. Each cast is in a different material including jelly, chocolate, resins and bronze.
It re-evaluates my work with the female form and questions what is the proper use of the female form in fine art. The project began with an exploration of distorted female forms in clay. It has touched on Toril Moi’s philosophy of the Feminist, Female and Feminine and it has investigated the 'baggage' of materials. It comes with a playful soundtrack that accompanied a disco light-box plinth.
Presenting the Little Bodies proved to be a challenge. There were created to be held in hand and moved and used (perhaps as a weapon).
The bronze, Weaponized Woman, remains unfettered by plinth and is pictured against a black velvet.
Extending the narrative, the transparent version is placed within a cut of apple wood and named Lilith and the Apple Tree calling to mind the contrast between the myths of Eve and Lilith, this two backed female form representing perhaps, the two versions of the first woman in christian mythology.
Placing a marble-esque Little Body, Diving, up-ended with rusted steel changed the power dynamic of the piece entirely, the the form dives into steel.
The aim of this installation was to magnify and exaggerate the idea of the female form as merchandise.
An investigation into materials had now produced all these 'props', and reminded me that these bodies had certain properties, and that women are often property themselves. This idea of props being property and having properties, called for an installation that called upon our commercial world, its superficiality, the repeated product, the sales worker, and sales talk.
The installation should display the 'props' in a distorted and heightened commercial style - like you might see at a department store - using a multi-coloured light-box and has a 'shop assistant' attempting to sell you the 'stock'. The idea hints at the commercialisation of art and the collector's power over the artist.
The 'shop assistant's words attempt to highlight the 'properties' of the bodies, their 'distinguishing trait' (to borrow from the film 'The Lobster') and to ensure that the viewer is left in no doubt as to the element of property in the ownership of women and female bodies.
Experimenting with food resulted in a jelly (opposite) and a chocolate version of Little Bodies. Neither very practical but another interesting change to the dynamic of the form.