Author personal statement
As an emerging artist and a professional art therapist and counsellor, I am concerned about how identity and the self-image is mediated through a media culture informed by medical instruments and informing a disciplining medical gaze that makes the human body and psychical states appear a disembodied and displaced state of the visible.
With reference to phenomenology and embodiment I do consider the space of experience residing beyond a dichotomy of the body and a mind. My viewpoints are founded on my own experience of being exposed, vulnerable, and stretched and pulled by a medical surgical gaze. I consider my surrounding perceptual space as a kinesfield, as it was named by Gretchen Schiller with bodies connected through the invisible.
My critical review informed my parallel project. At the same time, my practical work in the aftermath of my MRI experience informed my writing of aspects of material vulnerability and temporal experience. As important as it was for Helen Chadwick, the aesthetics of perception of my work could be seen with Merleau-Ponty as a relationship of ‘being-to-the world’.
This essay is built on the following supporting facts:
- My own MRI brain scan experience April 2018 at Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland
- Research on MRI and use in arts
- Research on medical imaging as cultural media and the body as transparent mediated object ‘under the skin’
- Research of philosophical exploration of the medical gaze, clinic, patient
- Research of Helen Chadwick’s body of work, especially her latest and un-finished series mid 1990s
- Collaborative work with music student Vicki Downey to explore different responses to sound
- My practice as research in the body and the plasticity of the skin, expressed through the malleable matter of painting and its materials