Current themes of my work explore the concept of how we perceive and relate and tendency to judge from our own frame of reference. Can we ever see each other objectively and how do we comprehend each other when our worlds form disparate realities?
I am interested in the role of identity and how this impacts on the negotiation of perceiving and being perceived by others. A particular focus is from the perspective of women living with chronic illness and their experience of how this changes their role and position within society. My work aims to explore women’s evolving relationship to their current state of health, their own bodies, and how they make sense of this shifting dynamic. How does this impact on her identity and the place she occupies in society? What happens when a woman develops an illness and her body becomes a negotiated space between herself and the medical setting that resides over it?
Focusing on women’s experiences of chronic illness raises the notion of bodily autonomy and power. A balance of power in flux with her sense of agency. What is the current state of ownership of a woman’s body within contemporary society?
My work examines the intimate conversation of the changing nature of women’s relationships with themselves, their bodies and others. A narrative that may not ordinarily be heard within the wider community, one that is often shrouded in shame. When these dialogues are engaged with they are often behind closed doors or contained within the medical context.
Is the ideology that governs current treatment of women within the medical model a reflection of historical legacy? Is the current state of our medical practices founded in rhetoric of equality, inclusion and respect? Do they really represent our current values? Who owns a woman’s body?
My practice explores corporeality, identity and heath care with pertinent issues including the historic and social construction of diagnoses; ownership of medical information; equitable access to care; bodily autonomy, power and the political implications of illness, vulnerability and precarity. What consequences are there if we acknowledge human vulnerability and how do we make sense of interdependence in a context of neoliberalism? Chronic illness can challenge notions of individualism and concepts regarding our roles and responsibilities within society. In turn, it can force us to consider how we provide long term care for those who require support and subsequently how we perceive value in those that do not conform to models of engaged citizenship. If our purpose in society cannot be clearly identified and categorised, our place becomes marginalised. A hustle to reclaim our right to a valid position in society. A claim to hold space for a different body, a vulnerable body.
An ill body becomes a negotiated space of contested corporeal boundaries. The impact of illness often forces individuals to engage in society from a place of difference. Their identity and position often becoming fragmentary, misaligned, blurred- Other.
My work is research led, with a written element being integral to this process. I have explored such themes through text, print, drawing, lens-based work and sculpture.