“Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” is an extension of my multimedia art practice that investigates my daily coping mechanisms. Coping is a constant that affects both the physical and mental self. My body often feels like it’s not my own because of the involuntary physical reactions triggered by trauma. My experience also involves trying to drown out the internal running commentary of how my actions could lead to the death of myself and others.
Drawings for 30x30x30 2021 fixate on the body and mortality. To bring those ideas to life visually, I began with two proverbs:
THE EYES ARE THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL
IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVIL’S PLAYTHINGS
These proverbs, combined with the gaping mouth depicting the gates of hell (the Hellmouth, seen as early as 800 AD in an Anglo-Saxon ivory carving), rely on the body (eyes, hands, mouth) to provoke thoughts of life and death. I am interested that all of this exists close together on the body and these are such crucial parts of ourselves. Eyes. Mouths. Hands. I love those parts of myself. I take them for granted sometimes. Thus, this work is comprised of slightly distorted renderings of hands interacting with eyes, eyes interacting with mouths, and mouths interacting with hands in unnatural ways to examine the relationship between body, life, and death.
“Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” is a surreal depiction of how trauma repeatedly makes me question how my actions will change my life and lead to my death.