My main focus of my latest project on identity and ritual is scars. I have been investigating the impact of scarring and how it can change and mould a person’s identity. I find the idea of scars amazing as we are basically wearing our life journey and memories embedded into our skin. For the ritual part of the project, I have been looking at the way in which western society promotes the covering of scars. In contrast, tribes such as the Karo tribe in Ethiopia, deliberately scar their bodies. The men to mark kills of animals and enemy tribe members and the women as a sign of beauty.
My main aim is to enhance scars and create beauty from what is usually seen as grotesque or a taboo. I have been experimenting with liquid latex to create skin and scar like structures. I have also been adding beading, wire, stitch and collage to add beauty and colour to the pieces. Latex is very good at picking up detail and can be used to create some very real skin imprints-as well as creating some interesting imprint of beads. The collage and stitching I have used to create memories, stitched together and placed upon the skin.
By experimenting with steel wire, I have created a structure to allow the latex to be stretched over. It has created some interesting shapes, especially with light being allowed to pass through the latex. However, when placed on the face, the structure just looked too bulky. This then allowed me to look at a much simpler approach to my work and I am know looking at ways to subtly apply the collage and beading into my work.
I am also creating pieces to be worn on the face as I feel that this will create the greatest impact to viewer. It will also allow for the identity of the wearer to be changed by the pieces.