The subject matter of my work is the ultimate mystery of the relationship between the physical human body and the inner self (or the human spirit). Within my practice I am investigating the representation of the invisible through fragments of the physical body. I am interested in exploring the boundaries between the inner and outer body; between the physical and metaphysical; tangible and intangible, by exploring the tactile and the optical image.
The works I am creating are monotype prints on gel medium presented on a light box, thus combining media and pushing the boundaries of printmaking. This process of printing on layered gel is a time consuming one, which references the gradual peeling of human skin, exposing and suggesting the materiality inside the human body. Human skin intrigues me, as it is the largest organ of the body. It is a membrane, both barrier and shield between inner and outer and at the same time it is that which connects our bodies to everything outside. It can provide the most intimate of experience and the most public, as it is what presents us to the world. The light box presentation illuminates the ink print made upon the gel surface and conveys a sense of a medical forensic examination on the surgeon’s table.
Digital printing opens a new world for me, giving me the freedom to create collages from many gel print scans of body parts and the cell, the smallest building block that provides structure for the human body. Just as cells can make copies of themselves, my large-scale digital collage is made from many copies of my gel monotype prints. Within cells, the cytoplasm is made up of a jelly-like fluid (called the cytosol), which reference the use of gel conceptually. Using a scanner to produce one image from another in another medium allows me to capture the immediacy and physical presence of the gel material. Continuing with digital manipulation, constructing the image via layering allows me to explore the interplay of printmaking processes, hand made or computer generated.