Tuesday, March 5, 2013


In the past few years my work has looked at political sociological concerns and has now turned to more personal issues.

The origins of the work I am concentrating on stem from some ideas I had last year. I had started to look at my own personal body politics after working on more universal concerns.

I had lots of ideas that I didn’t have time to explore, as my life took a dramatic turn. I was involved in a car accident, sustaining several injuries and ultimately resulting in having to have most of my right leg removed.

Second Nature 2012
It seemed natural to explore this experience through my artwork.

To express my emotions, convey how it feels embrace my new form as an amputee.

I wanted to make alternative prosthetic legs. I decided that I needed to accept and embrace this new form that I have. I now hope to create some celebratory prosthesis rather than the usual rather clumsy legs given by the N.H.S.

With this piece, Prosthetica 1, I wanted to convey a humourous, feminist statement. A comment on women’s domestic role, I made a cast of my stump to make the socket, which I chose to make from fibre glass without colour to echo the faded dishevelled state of the broom. Its size was important to me. I hoped to make it fantastical and larger than life. It would be impossible to wear such a thing comfortably and this was to emote the burden of ones position, which can be as an amputee or not!

Prosthetica 1, 2013.
Louise Bourgeois has been a strong influence to my artistic practice over recent years.

I admire her brave use of materials in this piece below,Femme Couteau, 2002. She used an inexpensive domestic material stitched together quite crudely, juxtaposed with a huge flick knife that is part of the figure and perhaps suggests at why this figure is missing a limb. My interpretation of this is that we can disable ourselves...however unintentionally with our thoughts and subconscious mind.

Bourgeois turned to using softer materials in later years echoing the tapestries she would have helped to work on as a child.

Her approach was bold, crudely produced stitching with purposeful strong figures created. Multi faceted pieces that exposed her inner psyche and expressions of her child hood memories.

I relate to and aspire to her exploration of psychoanalytic sculpture and installations with their cathartic purpose and visceral expressiveness.

Louise Bourgeois, Femme Couteau, 2002.

During my working process I found that I wanted to express both my psychological state and my physical feelings of having a phantom limb.
I was very inspired by a piece at the ‘Superhuman’ exposition at the Wellcome Collection last summer.
An excerpt of Matthew Barney’s ‘Cremaster 3’ with model, athlete and double amputee Aimee Mullins performing roles involving beautiful and metamorphic prostheses that grant surreally envisaged super powers.

Matthew Barney, Cremaster 3, 2012.

I felt very motivated to make work that involved the psychological side of the accident and hope to create the manifestation of that through my art.

To emote the profound change and new form I own. To move forward with it has meant that I needed to allow this real sufferance in order to be able to then celebrate it.

Prosthetica 2, 2013.
This piece is rather more convivial, it was great fun to wear!

I made a socket by making a copy from my first piece. I then covered this with the stump sock linings provided by my Prosthetist, who also supplied the longer stockings with which I made the pendulous tentacle like appendages.

My inspiration came from the ancient swirling dervishes who spin with full bodied white skirts. They dance in spinning motion to induce a trance like state.

My prosthesis aims to emulate that feeling, and is something I’d like to use in a film next year exploring my body politics.

With all my work around the prosthetics I have tried to use humour, to engage with my audience and to convey my character.


Prosthetica 3, 2013.

This drawing is one of the designs I have made for the covers I am hoping to make for my own leg. I have been developing ideas and playing with a variety of medium to research what will work best as a practical prosthesis as well as being a piece of art.

A chance for me to make beautiful art that in turn has the practical property of covering my leg.

I also want to continue exploring my psyche with the more fantastical prostheses. This year they will be displayed as a finished range of photographs, next year I hope to use them in short art films.

I am also planning to research the area of aesthetics in prostheses for my dissertation next year as I feel strongly that this area can be helpful for the successful rehabilitation of an amputee. Moreover, the process of addressing ones physical condition and customising ones limb can be a catalyst for great positivity.

Prosthetica sketch for leg cover, 2013.