Tuesday, 18 March 2008


It has taken me a while and several conversations with people to get up the courage to post the images of my insides that originally inspired the pink wax work - thanks to Debbie, Bridie, Lisa, A mi and others for their encouragement! Of course, now I have decided to do it, I can't find them anywhere (I know I put them somewhere really safe), so I am substituting for now with a similar image I found on the internet.
I have always been fascinated by the notion of the abject - the research I did for my Honors and Masters studies was entirely focused on investigating the abject (specifically in relation to cleanliness and femininity). I started with the manner in which a single hair on a bar of soap can be such a potent marker of abjection and this was my springboard into an investigation of the surrounding ideas and theory. One of my favourite books is called 'The Anatomy of Disgust' (an excellent cultural history of the idea of 'disgusting' things over the ages by William Miller). So when after laparoscopic surgery last year I went for a follow up visit to the surgeon and was given snapshots of my innards - imagine my surprise when my stomach turned and turned and turned. Being confronted with one's own interior landscape is a weird and wonderful thing. It is at once disgusting, yet beautiful and fascinating and there is a strange sense of both ownership and disposession, connection and dislocation. Seeing pictures of my insides subconsciously inspired the pink wax work without a doubt, although it has taken me a while to realise it. In fact I have come to realise that this whole project is something of a result of the experience as I couldn't leave home for a while and was looking around for things to make - and there was the pink thread!
The image below is of a brooch which directly refers to the images. In the spirit of the work I did for my academic research, made from soap (there are some images of these works in the slideshow attached to an ealier post), this brooch incorporates scent in the form of candle wax.

There is something disturbingly hairy (abject?) about the way the thread works on this piece and the rubies peek out from its crevices.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mel this is brilliant....as you know I also have a personal relationship with the innards of my body too...and it is amazing what your conscious and subconscious wants to create! Love it...michelex