What Is A Body Of Work?
What does a body of work mean exactly?
What goes into an artist’s body of work and why do we call it that? Generally a body of work is a collection of paintings around a particular theme. Not all artists work in this way. However you will often find more mature artists tend to take a theme and work with it over a period of time.
During my art career, my work has encompassed several different subjects which I worked on over a period of months. The last major body of work I did was around the subject of the dark night of the Soul. These paintings documented that journey using the metaphor of dresses emerging from a dark wardrobe out into the light. Each subsequent painting was a further step in the emergence. The dresses themselves represented more than one thing. There was the emerging awareness of my own neglected femininity. Which was quite a painful process.
The painting below in particular, represents the feelings associated with owning my femininity.
Emergence – The Finished Work
For many years of my life I was involved in a religion that suppress women to a large degree and I think this painting was subconsciously rendered as a means of breaking free from that past suppression. Really, if you look at the whole series of works, the embracing of freedom is quite apparent.
You might ask, how does this subject of my femininity relate to dark night of the soul? To understand this I will have to tell you the story of how this series of paintings began.
Often artists are much like everyone else, in that we have defining points in our lives that have a strong emotional impact on us. Sometimes these points will come out in our art immediately and at other times these experiences may not appear in the work for many years. This series of work actually has two fundamental causes that brought it into existence. One goes way back to my childhood. Early on like many young girls I took up ballet and I was very good at it, gaining honours in my exams. However when I was around 13 I gave it up and that was something that I live to regret for many years.
The other cause was an even deep emotional wound. It was discovering that my partner has no love of art, and that there is a whole part of me that he will never get, that I can’t share and he will never understand. Which begs the question of whether creatives, should only marry creatives?
To find out how these two soul wounds turned into a painting series……. please come back and read next weeks post.
This Weeks Question: How have you assimilated and dealt with those life changing moments on your journey?
Look For Next Week’s Post: Find out how these two soul wounds turned into a painting series..