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Installation view of solo show Storm in a B Cup 2017
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life Sucks (2016 #4)
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life Sucks (2016 #4) Sculpture

Rebecca D Harris

United Kingdom

Sculpture

Size: 9.4 W x 9.8 H x 0.4 D in

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About The Artwork

‘Life Sucks’ series of works stem from an ongoing art-based research project which investigates the materiality of fat female skin through the medium of textiles. In weight-gain, arguably no other organ is more physically altered and visually modified than the skin. Flesh, viscera and bones reside relatively undisturbed as the mass of the body grows around. As the fat swells beneath the skin, the body transmutes towards the discursive fat person. Following dramatic weight-loss, skin becomes a phantasm for the body it left behind, a stark reminder of the undulating cascading fatty borders between self and the world. ‘New’, socially acceptable body, resides within the flayed skin of ‘old’ (fat) socially unacceptable body. Skin acts as a repository, communicating the history of the body and ‘Life Sucks’ utilises stretched and unfilled tights to mimetically reference sagging breasts. My preference for tights is reflected in the thoughts of artist Senga Nengundi who selects tights as they relate ‘to the elasticity of the human body. From tender tight beginnings to sagging […] The body can only stand so much push and pull until it gives way, never to resume its normal shape.’ It is of course not just a literal reference to the body, but also, metaphorical for that of what it is to be a woman. The artworks possess an air of autonomy and ‘their’ story’ is not necessary, the viewer needs not know the rationale behind why *I* make ‘Life Sucks’, in order to engage with the pieces. There are many levels in which these artworks can engage with the viewer, from simply finding them funny, and wanting to ‘flick the titties’, to opening a dialogue about the feminist trope of life being a strain on women in particular. Technical: artwork material treated with fire retardant spray

Details & Dimensions

Sculpture:Fabric on Soft (Yarn, Cotton, Fabric)

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:9.4 W x 9.8 H x 0.4 D in

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Rebecca D. Harris is an artist, collaborator, researcher & educator based in Marazion, Cornwall. Her work explores science, humour, textiles and the body. After graduating with a first class BA in Fine Art Practice, at Plymouth College of Art, Rebecca went straight on to complete an intense two-year full-time Masters degree at Plymouth University. Following her graduation the artist has gone on to publish her inter-disciplinary research, give artist talks and research presentations around the UK and most notably, in 2018, The School of Anthropology at Oxford University. Her work has been sold globally and is in a permanent exhibition for her commissioned work 'Symbiosis' at the world renowned site Eden Project in her native Cornwall. Inspired by the biomedical sciences Rebecca has worked with esteemed medical researchers in collaborative projects to create her accessible and engaging textile works. At the fore is a passion for the artworks to be visceral, tactile, meaningful and educating. Rebecca continues to explore and enquire what it is to be female. ARTIST STATEMENT "Many artists who appropriate the methods and materials of textiles, talk of nostalgic memories and experiences of female heritage passing on their craft. I, however, have no such backstory. For me, it was a self-discovered affair emerging from my teenage years and an oasis of which I still retreat into some 30 years later. In 2012, during the formative years of my Masters degree, I cancelled a scheduled gastric bypass; leading to a pivotal moment of which key works developed from the intensified awareness of my then abjectified body. The experience forged my engagement with the female body as my artistic expression. My own body is often, but not exclusively, utilised as an axis for research, adopting an autoethnographic approach to speak of universal issues and not just of the biographical. Furthermore, the viewer's body is a tool for further engagement through the everyday familiarity of the materials and objects. It is a site to physically experience the evocative assemblages and tactile stitching which viscerally empathises the body. The subtle, layered meanings and interpretations of my terse constructions, offer accessible autonomous artworks through the familiarity and affective potential of textiles. Pulled, manipulated, sculpted and embroidered fabrics are a site of communicating its message.

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