Botanical Flesh Self Portrait

This work evolved out of an observation of the painterly nature and tones of make up removal pads. The connotations here are the idea of DNA blending with make up and forming a ‘real’ self portrait blended with the ‘fake’ mask. Make up itself is a ritual which can be both comforting and deceiving. It can conflict with identity and objectify the individual, yet in this process it becomes more of a cleansing ritual and a creative act that defies fetishisation and opposes the use of make up as mask. The objects are actually quite fragile to work with because of the cotton wool but are kept together by crochet which is a symbol again of the power of ‘female’ craft in the creation of identity and its preservation. It is about the physicality of these works and the painterly quality they have when grouped together. These recycled ‘craft works’, like crochet, is a skill passed down from one generation of females to the next - much like genetic traits.
The first problem with this work was how to hang it once all the small craft pieces (eighty) were done. Eva Hesse’s circle drawings/paintings in rows offered inspiration and added order whilst individually the pieces remained strange and mysterious objects with overlapping tendrils of uncut knotted crochet threads.
Suspending the work on slightly transparent fabric allows both the viewer and light to move around the piece. 

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Bianca Hendicott