Using a mixture of collagraphy printmaking technique , folding and cutting , these books have no story but are a celebration of forms. I call them pure geometry.
While we are fed images of the ‘perfect body’ on a daily basis I think it is right to emphasise that in the end we are all just skin, bone, hair and fat. These photos were made to explore the human body as it is, in a very matter of fact way without reference to ugliness or beauty. This was my starting point for Premaruupa and a celebration of all things ‘imperfect’. See projects.
Based on one of my own mementos , a plastic pregnancy sick which was the first confirmation that my daughter existed, and I felt a beautiful form in itself. I wanted to remake this stick into something that looked precious, and so reflected my feelings about it.
It was remade into this jewellery- like object, using 3D printmaking, and from a form made on computer aided design, It is gold plated and contains two pearls from my mother’s broken pearl necklace, which had been in turn left to my daughter. This seemed to unite the three generations in the piece. I chose the black and red box as it felt very womb like, and so seemed to fit the project.
Looking at ideas of physical perfection and the ideal of Greek beauty, I wanted to look at what would happen if we revered the imperfect or unusual, rather than beauty and perfection. Premaruupa is an imaginary deity who symbolises imperfection, bodily and otherwise. Her name is a combination of two Sanskrit words Prema – unconditional love and ruupa meaning appearance. This is her Creation story.
In the beginning we were all in parts and only saw ourselves in parts. We struggled our way out of the clay to make sense of ourselves, as a whole or a form.
Premaruupa started like this too, but she came out of the clay in the wrong order. Parts got lost and got added and ended up in the ‘wrong’ place, or in the ‘wrong’ shape. It was in her nature, and in time those other people who had also struggled out of the clay started to realise this.
Still they struggled to be whole, inside and out, until they decided it was unavoidable to be parts. They started to accept their parts, that came out in the wrong order, the wrong shape, that were added and taken away, or were missing. As they loved Premaruupa for the strange thing that she was, and saw her beauty and their own, in incompleteness, far too muchness and imperfection.
In my Masters show I invited visitors to participate in the reverence and acceptance of the imperfect by giving her offerings. Religion is often seen in terms of war and oppression, and it is forgotten that there may be another side to it in terms of healing. Visitors offerings are shown in this gallery, click on any picture to start Gallery.
Their only record remains in photos and drawings as the clay was taken back to it’s source. That is, it was taken back to wet clay. This is the tradition in many cultures with offerings. The offerings are made useless or destroyed completely, and it is only in doing this that they pass from the human realm, to the realm of Gods and Goddesses.
Thanks to anyone who took part.
A collaboration between myself and poet/ writer./ artist Maureen Sangster . A country lane near my home was the stomping ground of generations of young people and children all who left their marks on the trees. These form a timeline from 1948 onwards. The visuals were taken and edited by myself and the poem produced in response to the place and my images by Maureen. This film was shown in Cupar Arts Festival 2010 in The Silo and on Cupar Bandstand, as well as Stanza Poetry Festival, St Andrews 2011.
The Cupar Silo 2010