Artist Statement

June 2019

I am an artist based in Glasgow. I work with moving image to examine politics of and on the body. My practice is often research based, situated in theories of feminist geopolitics (the embodiment of politics within everyday lives*) and emotional geographies (understanding of emotion in terms of social and spatial articulation**). I employ the aesthetics of video diary, documentary and educational videos, layering imagery with voiceovers generated from conversations and borrowed texts, harnessing storytelling and multiple (often contradictory, sometimes complimentary) voices and sources to reflect upon political, social and cultural narratives about women. I am preoccupied with the construction of medical knowledges, how it is informed by (and informs) cultural norms, behaviours and assumptions, particularly in relation to bodies deemed ‘out of place’. I look to harness the representation of the ‘misbehaving’ body as an unreliable narrator and inaccurate witness, bringing this subjectivity into dialogue with the dominance of objectivity in medical discourse and diagnostic narratives. 

My most recent work, Body of Water, turns the lens upon myself to examine the violation of bodily integrity. The single channel video draws into focus the (mis)representation of female pain and the accompanying breach of self-determination inflicted by medical procedures and social norms - articulated through the use of a voice over quoting multiple and contradictory sources combined with imagery of me swimming as a method of harnessing personal agency. 

Recently, I have been engrossed in medical journals and physicians notebooks, conversing with women about their experiences (often online), and (slightly obsessively) consuming reruns of TV medical dramas. Tandem concerns have emerged: how ‘hysteria’ continues to infiltrate understandings of pain; and the emerging ethical dilemmas arising from manipulation of the human body on a cellular level. These intertwining themes are concerned with (mis)treatment of the body across scales, oscillating around what is considered an ‘acceptable’ body and behaviour. I want to harness the potential of storytelling, techniques and tropes of documentary to question acceptance of scientific 'facts’ and ‘common sense’, mobilising contradiction and nuance, first-hand experience and testimony as methods to resist essentialization and intervene into objectivity. I am exploring these themes through the development of two new related works, Pain and Cells. I see Body of Water, Pain and Cells as a tryptic of works speaking to the same subject from varying perspectives and across scales.

*Hyndman, 2000

**Davidson, Bondi & Smith, 2007

Using Format