The self, the cell, more, new
When over 1 million selfies are taken and shared online each day, the Internet reveals itself as a widely used tool of identity construction, particularly for young people whose fixation with this form means that selfies make up a third of all photos taken by 18-24 year olds. 36% admit to altering their selfies and 13% of women report that they retouch every photo they take of themselves. As such a pervasive phenomenon, the artworks in this series explore selfie culture in the context of mass behaviour, the spread of ideas (cue the neural imagery), and the formation of societal norms.
It is not coincidental that many of the works share similarities with the shapes of flowers, vines, roots, leaves and even galactic and interstellar shapes, as a running theme in my work seems to break down divisions between humans and nature, in the process of asking what is ‘natural’. In sculptural form, I started experimenting with cacti, again using botanical imagery, but this time drawing upon their symbolism of solitude, isolation and separation (derived from growing in desert/ed environments). The structure, however, can also embody collectiveness; both of these qualities I thought were apt in exploring selfie culture – something that focuses on the solo individual and that is a mass behaviour.
Another objective, rather than making a sweeping assertion that selfies are either ‘good’ or ‘bad, was to collate a series of selfies taken in a set time period, to deconstruct and place them alongside each other just to see what could be learnt from that process. The beginning point of which was to print out the first 100 images tagged #selfie in Tumblr so that I had a representation of the photographs that were being shared at that time.
This is a series that I have been working on throughout May and June 2016 that consists of: small drawings (10 x A4), deconstructable sculptures that can be arranged in various combinations, and a larger piece made of sixteen A4 panels (33.2” x 46.8”).
If you are interested in any of the pieces displayed on this page, please get in touch via my Contact Form or email me.