FruitingBodies is a series that I started creating in 2017, as a way of examining the sexualized female form in a way that disrupted the concept of the male gaze. The body language of the figures is drawn directly from pin-up shots, magazine spreads, and boudoir images, creating a connection to the gaze and idealized beauty, but the craggy, pitted texture of their 'flesh' denies a purely aesthetic reading. These figures are simultaneously decaying and springing forth with new life: colonized by mycelia and producing fruiting bodies. These paintings explore a dualism contained within the female body: the embodiment of both creative life, and decay/death. Much like a mushroom, women are situated at both ends of the life cycle. Although comely, these are not bodies presenting themselves for your pleasure.
“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a wholehearted life: loving ourselves.” Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection BloomingBodies is a series of inky figurative paintings celebrating the grounded self - a body settled in the understanding of its own strength and unique beauty. When representing the female form, I try to always be mindful of the unrealistic beauty standards unavoidable in our day-to-day and sold to us by the media — it’s important to me to have some sort of element that undermines the illusion of perfection. In the case of this series, the wet-on-wet technique I used to flesh out the figures creates a mottled skin, chaotic and unpredictable. The figure blooms from the ground and settles into her space: gentle, tender, and sure. Headless and unfazed by the viewers’ gaze, she grounds herself in self-understanding and turns her gaze inward. it is so full here in my self Created in collaboration with award-winning portrait photographer and confidence cheerleader Michele Mateus, this series is open to expansion and collaboration. Imagine turning yourself into a gorgeous piece of art and being able to love on yourself Every. Single. Day. Like a love-letter to the self, these paintings honour the power of the feminine, and celebrate moments of spiritual growth and self-acceptance.