Monday, May 11, 2009

our domestic body

I first saw artist Laura Splan's work through her series Doilies, each of which are computerized machine made lace, representing a range of virus'. The top image is a lace doily of Influenza, below HIV. I posted about her over a year ago and was re-routed to look at her work again.


exploration and use of the literal body and that which ravages it is fascinating and complicated as a subject matter. Her use of blood as a medium can be morbid and bizarre but by creating delicate drawings and wallpaper patterns makes us question the role of our bodies and the places in our lives.

Wood block wall paper, using artist's own blood as ink.

Lauren states:

My work explores perceptions of beauty and horror, comfort and discomfort. I use anatomical and medical imagery as a point of departure to explore these dualities and our ambivalence towards the human body. Viruses, blood, and x-rays of bones and viscera can be at once unsettling and enticing. I often combine scientific images and materials with more domestic or familiar ones. The ornamentation of wallpaper or the design of a doily lends a sort of relief in its familiarity and pleasing pattern. This juxtaposition creates a response that fluctuates between seduction and repulsion, comfort and alienation.
Embroidery motif based on anatomy of human tear duct.

The beauty and subtle quality of much of her work is so enticing and even more fascinating when you realize what you are looking at. The juxtaposition of familiar domestic objects with such clinical subject matter of our bodies structure and anatomy seems initially bizarre. But in actuality is a very poetic way to express the reality of our existence. (By the way I love the Anatomy of tears, above, it brings tears to my eyes in its simplicity of idea)

Traditional fan, embroidery motif based on anatomy of retina.

Gloves made from facial peel, cast from artist hands.

Pillows silk screened with images of skin.

I was particularly drawn to the above Pillows piece, both for its materiality and its presentation. Lauren describes this pieces as:

Each pillowcase possesses unique markings and coloring and is printed from a different image of skin. They evoke our psychological relationship to objects as projection surfaces for comfort and familiarity. The comfortable nature of the soft pillow is undermined by the magnified detail of the skin and even more so by the image of meat-like flesh on the pillow inside the pillowcase.

Lauren has a number of equally compelling, bizarre, and conceptual pieces on her website.


angela simione said...

oh, i love this work! ahhhhhhh... those pillows! the blood wall-paper! looks AND brains!

Joetta said...

looks and BRA-INS!
What we all desire and work for!