This body of work is an exploration of the image of father and child. The image of the mother and child is one of the most iconic images in the western world. Imagery of father and child is not so enshrined.
The corporeal attachment of the mother and her child takes place during gestation, giving birth and in some cases breastfeeding. Her child is marked on her body internally and hormonally and is an inherent part of the bonding process. By piercing his own body with the image of his child, is the father also attempting to internalize as well as externalize his relationship? Are the tattoos signifiers of a sense of loss or belonging? Is it the symbolic creation of some sort of altar within a human temple?
The art form of tattooing uses the human body as its canvas. As a system of communication it provides a crucial databank of beliefs, values and history of individuals, groups and cultures.
‘David’ • video and sound • 13:10
A tender compilation of moments is captured between a father and his child in the video “David”. Frames are isolated as a series of pictorial images with subtle interventions of the moving image.
The colour blue is used in the backdrop because of its association with the Madonna. Historically this colour was used because of the precious nature of lapis lazuli. The Madonna and Child iconography in Western European art reflects the humanist dream of an Ideal Woman and a Harmonious Life. References to the Madonna and Child in this work are also present in the seating composition, gestures and eye contact.
Assumptions, wishes and dreams are enshrined in the many depictions of of the symbolic relationship between Mother and Child. It is difficult to find a corresponding portrayal of Father and Child in the secular, mythological and religious cannons of literature and art.
The soundscape composed by Joe Harney uses fragments of the clarinet chopped up to remove any breathing or finger sounds in a stretched melodic phase. The male vocals sit evenly with the instrumental piece producing a harmonious and contemplative flow.
This work is a meditation and exploration of the Father and Child relationship. Slowing down the action which is often associated with the male and presenting the nurturing intimacy often associated with the female attempts to open the dialogue about perceived roles and the complexity of relationships.
Installation Father & Child, Kunstverein, Villa Streccius in Landau, Germany >>