Fashion (verb): make into a particular or the required form
These people are self-possessed, self-contained and unyielding. Their form, their body, is theirs and cannot be fashioned or formed into what the viewer might wish. They confront you with their self-ownership, untouched by the idealization we usually see projected onto people’s bodies.
Fashion (noun): a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.
Because the media definition of “fashionable” is so narrow, only a small percentage of the population fit that definition. These people defy and deny anything so trivial as fashionable. They are so much more.
Fashion (noun): a manner of doing something
The way I actually create my art is considered very unfashionable by the mainstream contemporary art community. I am deemed too antiquated and often dismissed as being about technique only. Only the surface of what I create is seen, without any consideration of what might lie beneath the surface.
We are presented daily with a relentlessly homogenous view of the perfect fashionable human body – preferably thin, white and young – as though that is the only body of worth.
With this exhibition, I wanted to gather the stories of real bodies that are often shunned by mainstream media, and often even contemporary figurative art. I wanted to apply a different lens to these stories, one that has nothing to do with Photoshop filters, camera lenses or even a dialogue of what is beautiful or not by our contemporary standards.
I am much more interested in the stories that the bodies of these people have to tell. That there is a different kind of beauty to explore, one that is about grace and power and truth. Like trees forming around foreign objects, our bodies grow and change and transform by the way we treat them and the experiences we encounter; our bodies never forget.
Thanks & Acknowledgement
None of this would be possible without the support of following organizations: The City of Ottawa Cultural Funding Program, The Articipate Endowment Fund and the Ontario Arts Council, all of which provided me with funding to both produce and present this exhibition.