Superficial or Inherent

For the UK premiere at Street Level Photoworks a new projection was made for gallery 2. This involves a 2 screen digital animation projected into the space to engage and involve the viewer in a multi-sensory experience working to create a strong presence of being. Two navels pump in and out in sequence with breathing from these individuals. As the viewer stands within the projected animations the feeling is visceral, of closeness and somewhat uncomfortable forcing your thoughts on your own breath.

From 10 individual’s navel casts, the construction of small contour drawings have evolved that are based on these negative forms. The delicate lines carefully follow the individuals birth chord creating an image from this part of the body where from its cutting at birth, it marks the beginning of a new individual taking the first breath, first food and from this developing the self and identity.

In this sense these drawings can be seen to correspond to birthplaces, birthrights and more obviously land mass. The area is explored as transparent layers, building up the 3 dimensional form using tones that would correspond to the representation of topography of land on ordnance survey maps. These marks are as individual as finger prints yet have the potential to change over time, they are quite fluid in structure.

The images of embossed skin describe the people who were the basis of the navel contour drawaings.

These images state the typical information asked for when a passport is issued, age, date of birth, place of birth etc. dual nationality. Visual information is also stated, what we perceive from first meeting an individual – hair colour, body build, height etc. I am interested in the notion that none of this information actually gives us a realistic indication of that person’s true identity, it is much deeper set than this.

These images seek to question your thoughts when building a ‘picture’ of who this person is, some information is more thought provoking than others. These embossed words disappear from the skin within minutes echoing the importance of these statements to our true identity.

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