Body Language: Investigations in Anatomy through Idiomatic Language
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My main objective in this project was to observe and explore the treatment of the human body through idiomatic language. Having developed perspectives in both the sciences and the fine arts, my own interests in the human body have ranged from the shifting portrayal of the human body throughout art history to the wild array of medical treatments used in the past. Between my two areas of study, there is varied, and at times separate, vocabulary used to address the uses, functions, and conditions of the human body. At the beginning of this process I originally intended to try and combine these two vocabularies in an attempt to reconcile them into one combined perspective, through an intense series of observational studies. I found myself more intrigued by anatomy as used day to day idiomatic phrases such as “having a frog in your throat”, feeling “scatterbrained” and having that “golden touch” rather than a strict observational description. This project resulted in a collection of oil paintings done in varying styles with a range of anatomical subject matter. Rather than direct studies of the human body, the body became a tool to visualize and abstract the intentions of the language that inspired the idiom. Through this exploration, I have gained a fresh understanding of the attitudes towards the human body through emotive and transformative language.
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