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  • Writer's pictureChiara


Updated: Jun 24, 2022

My major project of the semester is something of a pivot from my previous work. The stitched banner I made recently is the most textile-based work I have done in this degree program. I am excited about the integration of medium and concept it represents. However, I don't feel confident that I can further develop and scale it up for the major project in the time available. I also want to take advantage of the opportunity to develop my printmaking skills and use the studio after two years of study disrupted by the pandemic. So, I'm going to explore print-based media that I can use for this project. Conceptually my previous work has centred on personal trauma, often utilising photographic self-portraiture. Up until now my concept of self-portraiture has used my face as the most identifying and expressive part of my anatomy. My hands became a focus of attention here.

My photographic self portraits in the Mirror, mirror project came to focus more on my hands than I had originally intended.

The current project however focusses entirely on the motif of the hand. Furthermore, this project extends beyond the personal to reach for the power of a political response to trauma: in particular to the violence against women that is all too prevalent in our society.

You can see the full proposal for the project here:

Download DOCX • 1.43MB

Reference Artists identified in my proposal:

  • Adam Ferguson: for example--I'm interested in the way he obscures the identity of his subjects while capturing their individuality and vulnerability.

  • Caroline Halley des Fontaines: she works with the sacred and ancient; I note the power of her black and white photography and video work. This video manages to visually isolate the hands while making them stand for the individual and their ritual practices.

  • Henry Moore: for example -- this is the only example I chose initially with primarily drawn elements. From the Tate website "Henry Moore's subject is the aged body. He made these drawings of his own hands when he was eighty-one and suffering from ill-health. 'Hands can convey so much' he said, 'they can beg or refuse, take or give, be open or clenched, show content or anxiety. They can be young or old, beautiful or deformed."

  • Antoni Tàpies: for example --I first studied this work in my first year Art 1: History+Theory+Cultures class. I was interested in the materiality of the work and its embodiment of political protest. I was later thrilled to discover that the print is in the RMIT collection!

  • Andy Warhol: for example --I'm interested in the fact that Warhol calls this photograph of his hand a self portrait. Is polocolour type 108 film an instant polaroid film? If so, what does that say about the reproducibility of the image?

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