Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Look At You

I have been working on a large-scale installation piece, provisionally titled Sex Tourist. It's too early for me to write much about it – like some novelists I've read about, I fear losing interest in a work-in-progress by "talking it out" rather than just doing it – but it has provoked a deal of intimate reflection about my own sexuality and the influence it has on my art.
I think of myself as a voyeur. I like to watch bodies and faces and I'm intrigued by how posture and expression are influenced by emotion. I like to watch how people move around and with each other, especially in the most intimate circumstances.
I am also captivated by the covert or the taboo. Nudity, sex,
perversity, societal and religious rituals are elemental to art and a lot of my own work is an exploration of their psycho-social significance and effect.
In my early work, I wanted to control the way people looked at my work and me. In some ways, I wanted to reflect their gaze back at them from the shiney enamel surfaces of my paintings. Now I am not so tightly wrapped. In fact, my recent work is completely unbound and at times almost exalts in the lush, warm spill of bodily fluids – blood, semen, saliva and sweat – as I let my libido and the tremor of new-found love mix with the residue of old but still bloody wounds from my youth and flow unchecked through my hands and brush.
Recently, even the brush began to feel too constricted as a conduit for everything I have wanted to express. I am constructing (there is no other word for it!) room-sized environments of not only images – painted, photographed and filmed – but words, sounds and intricate diagrams that are my first attempts to actually map my unstable psyche.
Thankfully I have a man in my life with whom I can explore right up to the most precipitous edges of my desires. He turns me on beyond my wildest imaginings and yet I feel safe enough to go out on the slenderest of limbs. He always has a hold of me.


jennie Rosenbaum said...

Wow, such an emotional undertaking - I think you are very brave. it's hard to look within yourself, harder still to be honest. I hope I get to see it when it's done.

Remittance Girl said...

Great post, Hazel. I'm looking forward to you writing more about it.