In taking part in a Gap Critique of my work it was an opportunity for me to have critique from my peers about the work installed in a gallery-like setting. On first glance at the work a lot of people found the work violent and sexual. Others found the work intimate as the pieces of bedding captured a vulnerability more so than the shameful body sculpture. There was much discussion about anguish and inner turmoil being expressed in a kind of battlefield like setting. The pillows were argued to be more successful as they are domestic objects we all find comfort in, but on further inspection people discussed the ideas of surgery, sexual violence, domestic violence and vultures pulling the innards out of its prey. An interesting point of the discussion from a psychological point of view was that a lot of the males in the group said that the wounds in the pillows took on the form of a vagina when many of the females didn’t see that.
A different perspective from one student which I found intriguing was when I revealed that I attempted to express the shameful body within one of my sculptures they stated that the the two pieces looked like a crime scene together. The shameful body was the one who had done harm to the pillows as if it was a domestic relationship. The shameful body was Adam cowering in the corner over what he done and the series of pillows was Eve and her bruises and wounds from domestic violence.
My ideas were understood in trying to express the mentality of human rather than the physical body. The pillow on the wall slumped over like a body being wounded. People found evidence to believe that there was a mental pain being expressed as a physical pain, the painful screaming wounds and implosion of the scream into the pillow.
Overall this made me re-evaluate myself as an artist and what I want to achieve within my work. I feel that the work was perceived with the rough intentions I wanted to achieve. I feel that the display of my work in a darkened room made the installation more atmospheric, enhancing the visceral qualities and making it harder for the viewers eyes to adjust to the work so they can see different ideas of the body.
In future after the feedback I would make the two pieces more evident that they are not together and that the contorted, shameful body is not in the same series as the pillows. I want to further develop my ideas in order to enhance the audiences’ experience of my work.
Installed in a light space
Installed in a dark space with a single light