Influenced by, or in direct reference to fashion imagery, my work surrealistically explores the animate potential of accessories and decoration in relation to the female body. Ornament takes on an insidious purpose in my work, often consuming the figure and eclipsing its humanity. In my practice I aim to cultivate an aesthetic that is simultaneously seductive and unsettling as a means of investigating the overlap between desire, fantasy, identity, and self-image.
Fashion has a potent potential for (self) transformation, something I find incredibly seductive, especially in combination with self-portraiture and masquerade. I often hide my body in strategic ways, generating a protective shield or armour as much as partaking in a self-inflicted act of erasure.
I am also highly interested in the fashion model’s function as a commodity mannequin, made seductive in order to sell. She commands and generates desire, not only for a product or lifestyle, but also for an identity or persona. Likewise, female power often becomes synonymous with buying power, with the female body becoming a site for celebrating consumerism in a false sense of female empowerment. In my work I abuse this narrative, employing the female body as an undead armature for display, exploiting its potential for accessorization. I reduce the body to its approximate value — that of a handbag, umbrella or hat. I find myself asking: at what point does the body become subsistent to decoration? How does the nature of subjecthood shift? Can decoration function as dogma?