Future Dreams23 NOV 2020 12:00 AM - 30 NOV 2020 7:04 PM
"My practice centres around ideas of beauty and ugliness and conventions which determine our definition of each. I am interested in how we see things, how we interpret what we see: does my way of representing bodies, using fabrics, stitching and embroidery, affect how the content of the work is seen?
I love bodies. Not the conventionally beautiful bodies, it is bodies which show their history, that have been altered by their experiences, are decorated with bruises, scars, spots, stretch marks, freckles, pigmentation, veins. Bodies that have the marks of life. Also, bodies which have been deliberately altered and decorated - by man rather than life – scarification, tattoos, plastic surgery, fillers, etc. Are some characteristics of bodies inherently beautiful, or ugly, or disgusting? Or because we see everything through the veil of culture, fashion and convention is it almost impossible for us to see bodies objectively?
I am currently making a series of medical/surgical pieces, showing bodies that have been altered by disease or surgery. My granny (an upholsterer and seamstress of great skill) had her breast removed as a result of cancer and was hugely grateful to the surgeon for saving her life. She was almost equally appreciative of what a beautiful stitching job he had done. She was very proud of her scar.
The reason for my support is my granny had breast cancer. My granny is a very important person in my artistic journey; She taught me to sew and embroider when I was very young. I also inherited trunks full of beautiful fabrics, lace, trimmings, silk, embroidery threads from her, some small part of which I use in all the pieces I make." - Sally Hewett, 2020.