On Edge Exhibition : ECA
Introducing the three female artists behind the 'On Edge' Exhibition held at ECA last week.
Artist #1 Gaby Grant
In Conversation with Gaby Grant - produced by FRUIT Magazine
These Tits Are Mine
Fourth wave of feminism is defined by the use of the internet and social media. Censorship guidelines on social media, often focus on censoring the female body which inevitably renders the female body inherently sexual. An Instagram Feminist Art movement has emerged as a backlash to this censorship, using the platform to regain autonomy over their body and sexuality. It breaks down ideas surrounding femininity and subverting cultural attitudes and stereotypes towards women. The Instagram Feminist Art movement is characterized by its use of ‘selfies’ and the colour pink. In these artists’ photos they often wear little clothing and pose in what could be considered ‘sexually suggestive’ clothing (refer to pictures below). Through my work I aim to challenge the Instagram Feminist Art movement and raise questions of whether Instagram, a consumerist platform, is the correct place to be disseminating a feminist campaign or if it could merely be just commoditizing ‘feminism’. Are selfies and their use of the nude female body the appropriate way to be promoting female empowerment or could these photos be seen as merely narcissistic and further reinforcing stereotypes?
Artist #2 Louise Ferguson
“Where do we go when we close our eyes”
This year I have been creating a body of work that focuses on the notion of the female body becoming lost within a state of mind, drawing upon the theme of escapism and exploring how this can be represented within a painting. When creating my work, I wanted to explore the ways in which my own body has experienced this escapism, primarily through the medium of electronic music and dance. I am particularly interested in the idea of escaping our everyday lives by closing one’s eyes and imagining a new place in space and time. I want my paintings to capture this sense of escapism, freedom and imaginatory space, based upon a combination of my own memories and of edited images from Georgina Stars History of Sculpture photographs. These photographs encapsulate the notion of female breath becoming trapped inside bubble-gum, an idea that focuses on capturing something that is neither tangible nor visible until represented in an art work. I like to work with collage, acrylic and gouache paints on translucent fabrics, in order to challenge the confines of the stretcher and create a painting that embeds different dimensions. By situating the female body amongst painted patterns, I wanted the body to appear detached from its surrounding environment and rather replace itself in a new space and time. I reworked the same images, using screen printing and presented the fabric off the stretcher and alongside the paintings in order to transport the viewer and reframe their perceptions. Within the ‘On Edge’ exhibition, I used a red-tinted lighting and music in order to immerse the viewer in an unusual gallery setting and refer them back to my original inspiration.
Artist #3 Cein James
Heavily influenced by the eccentric and unapologetic nature of pop artistry of the late 1980s, my process primarily draws upon the manipulation of graphic and commercial imagery through digital design. Similar to artist pioneers of the commercial world such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, I work predominantly with figurative forms, often involving a bright, psychedelic colour palette and illustrative digital fracturing. Through a combination of collage, layering and dissembled illustration, my practice explores materials that are associated with the machine-made processes of the future, through technology and artificial materials such as coloured Perspex. Paralleling the effect of retro advertisement billboards and magazines, the designs lure the viewer into a hyper-stylized utopian space, using colour to stimulate a sense of escapism or liberation from the real world.
The triad series of works placed in the exhibition provides a sense of what an alternate material world would perhaps look like. Placed in elevated height arrangement, the images are seen from below, provoking a sense of unattainability and disconnect between the two worlds. These works were accompanied by an on screen moving image sequence displaying hallucinogenic dance formations that are fractured and disassembled through amplified colour. This provides an idea of the euphoria or trance-like state of mind felt in this unfamiliar new place.