Emma Elliott BA (Hons) Fine Art
I work with digital photography that deals with the abject, and more specifically, the abject in relation to women and the female experience. I am essentially interested in Julia Kristeva’s theories of abjection and, as a female artist, I want to use this to make work that can be utilised as a tool in creating a more accepting environment for women and their bodies. Through digital media, I create abject work using female subjects and components reminiscent of meat and blood and various other “grotesque” entities. I investigate topics such as body hair, periods and female genitalia, which are all significant parts of being a woman. I explore these topics in a way that shifts the power dynamic. By laying out all of these “abject” qualities that are used to define a woman, we can take back the narrative and normalise a natural body. By doing this I am disrupting social constructs and desensitising the viewer to visceral material. I create work to affect the audience and force them to renegotiate what is known and unknown by using visceral imagery. George Bataille’s concept of Informe is a central part of this. I pair formlessness with abjection in an attempt to make a viewer uncomfortable with what they are seeing. The ‘unknown’ can be powerful and I utilize it in my work to create the most dramatic effect. I make work that encourages investigation and questions. I want to create an environment where an audience can have an immersive experience and identify with the work they are seeing. My work leaves a lasting impression and is used to disrupt misogynistic ideologies bred in a patriarchal society.