pink & hairy & online
Gray's School of art graduate 2019
October 2018-June 2019
Verna Meg Ended was a social media persona/ online performance.
However it could be said she was more than simply a parody, instead more hitting the mark of an impression or reflection of social media caricatures.
A reflection on the modern self-portrait, an almost extension of my own self, or well more accurately a digital self.
Far from clean cut and perfect. Existing especially in the curated culture, where we strive to filter our authentic self.
I don’t want to simply criticize this culture as such, instead celebrate the absurdity of it.
Verna herself in object form was almost a homage or parody of the sex doll, being latex skinned and consisting of both hard and soft structures in her life-sized form, without anatomically correct parts, instead being sexless. She was only suitable to be held or displayed becoming more of a precious plaything instead of an exploitive object
An irony with the online persona being highly objectified.
My work had been previously called self indulgent as I began art school , Verna herself was the ultimate response to this criticism as she embraced self(ie) love.
Dwelling on social media you often find yourself surrounded by viral fads , trends and contradictory beauty ideals and the constant need for validation from a simple click of a like.
The performance of being Verna (and her predecessor before her, The Skeleton Project) was a journey to find online existence beyond that.
To learn more about my artistic journey, please inquire below.
ANXIETIES OF THE HAIR/
Early work were I wanted to explore ideas of representing the difficult parts of myself, the psyche of my compulsions. The parts of myself that niggle away at me and that I constantly fight to change, in potentially harmful practices. With eastern European heritage, I have struggled with thick body hair in the most impractical places like the face, and the chest. From a young age groomed with a pair of tweezers by the age of 11 to keep these in check, leading to the compulsive habit of trichotillomania.
Trichotillomania derives its meaning from the greek: trich (hair) , till (en) to pull, and mania (an abnormal love for a specific ) It is a compulsive urge put one’s own hair that can lead to social and functional impairment. Through photography, and sculpture progressing through this, a form of self-care as well as making a political statement. When it comes to body hair it’s more often than not men are encouraged to cultivate it, whilst women are using depilating processes in revulsion of their hair because of infantile images created through a combination of a patriarchal society, advertisements and an over ruling media.
Body hair should not be seen as repulsive, and there should not need to harm ourselves to be rid of it.
THE SKELETON PROJECT
November 2016-April 2017
A social media study. Taking apart ideas of the selfie, emoji and the online prescence.
Challenging photography through the camera phone, and the subject matter of a 3 foot skeleton. As well as bringing ideas of social media in to the physical world.