My Singular Fascination, a solo exhibition of work by Visual Artist Liz Atkin, is on show at The Bethlem Gallery from 20 February to 15 March 2013. Liz’s work is informed by her curiosity with skin as a primary source for corporeal art, both as metaphorical membrane and physical boundary. With a background in theatre and dance, physicality underpins her creative practice. Her work centres on a multilayered exploration of the possibilities of marking, extending and transforming the skin to question the limits of the body across and within the porous textures of light and surfaces. This personal investigation explores body-focused repetitive behaviour, rendering the skin to matter for re-sculpting.
She explains, “My skin, at once a public organ and a private territory, carrying with it all that my body has known, is my singular fascination. Dermatillomania, or Compulsive Skin Picking, dominated my life over a period of more than 26 years, and led to the creation of marks and scars on my body. The secrecy, shame and damage of this compulsive illness was so significant that I had no choice but to confront it directly, to study it, better understand it and in doing so become liberated from it. Drawing upon my background and knowledge of dance and movement I began another kind of intimate discourse with my body.”
“My artistic practice combines movement, photography and fine art, with my skin always the common denominator. The compulsive movement memory patterns of my body are now used creatively as I work with texture in intricate dialogue with the skin. Using materials such as acrylic paint, latex, clay, insect wings, soil and more, I capture unique performed moments, micro-textures and dances with a scanner, video recorder or digital camera. I consider my skin as a site, a soft canvas, a terrain for imaginative transformation, but moreover one that continues to heal.”
The exhibition coincides with OCD Week, an initiative run by OCD Action to raise awareness and to dispel the myths and show the real cost of OCD.
Exhibition opens: 20 February, 3 – 6pm
Exhibition continues: 21 February – 15 March, Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 6pm
Museum and Gallery open Saturday 2 March, 11am – 5pm. Artists’ talk at 2pm.
Blue by Liz Atkin