Is beauty really skin deep? As we reach adulthood, our lithe young bodies have used the food we have given them to grow. Once we have reached our growing potential, modern society’s abundance of food encourages most of us to eat more than we need, and we build fat stores around the body and beneath the skin. One way some of us attempt to preserve that youthful appearance is to keep our body fat as low as possible, revealing the muscle definition below. In fact, we can become so obsessed by this that we might prefer the skin to not be there at all.
Women feel a constant pressure from society to be “perfect”. In human society, unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, it is the women that are the peacocks. Hair, clothes and makeup are the tools used to create this illusion, but what happens when this is all stripped away?
No matter how fit and strong we are in life, there will come a time when our bodies will just crumble back into dust.
Having explored the theme of deterioration with the male form in Dust to Dust, I wanted to make a female version. I really like the cracks in this piece, but she retains her feminine composure.
Whilst some of us are preserving ourselves, trying to stay young and fit, others of us push ourselves to the limit, either mentally or physically and we simply burn out. I thought it would be fun to represent this with a handsome young male figure literally having combusted from the inside, leaving just a charred shell.
Again, this concept works equally well with the female form. I wanted to capture a moment of grace and poise, expressing the quality in women that those who work hard do not have to do so at the cost of their femininity.
The only certainty in life is death, yet it is the one thing that society hides away from. The Biology is simple; we are born, we live, grow, survive until we die when our physical being is recycled and it’s components are available to new generations of life. But in an attempt to belie this inevitable truth, human society has constructed a multitude of concepts for everlasting life. The spiritual amongst us may believe in an everlasting soul, possibly drifting from one life to the next. The scientists are looking for ways of prolonging our physical existence, but with what impact on society?
To be mortal is to live in the now; to be the best that we can be; to live life to the full; to be mindful of the delicate balance of life, but not to let it limit us in what we do, for our actions today have a profound impact on society and the way we might be remembered after we are gone.