Art has always been about extremes. So when I mentioned to my tutor that the extremes in my focus did not interest me, I was met with shock and a little bit of condescension. After all, how can an artist who focuses on body image not be interested in obesity or eating disorders?
Well it's very simple. A minority of girls are grossily obese and a minority are severly underweight which leaves most of us right slap bang in the middle. And the interesting thing about being in the middle is, that most of the time we get forgotten about. "That girl? Nah, she couldn't be unhappy, sure she couldn't be more than a size ten." Let me tell you guys, whether you are a size ten, twenty or fifty, unhappines with your figure feels just the same.
My work has focused on people interacting with their bodies. The current form it is taking is in paintings of people scraping, stretching and grabbing at their skin. Skin that looks average, that could be any of ours. Skin covering a lifetime of unhappiness and body issues that many won't accept due to the person's lack of extreme.
The reason I have become so interested in this is that I have noticed that when happiness deteriorates so does your sense of yourself. It is easier to tell someone that you hate your thighs than to admit you couldn't get out of bed because your heart was heavy. It is easier to blame your problems on your extra weight than on your inability to speak up in a room full of people. In a world where we are so bombarded with perfection, noone will pass any heed on a body complaint or two.