ALISON LAPPER, GORDON MACDONALD, SARAH HARDY
11 September - 24 October 1999
As a disabled person I am generally perceived as ugly, sexless, inert, helpless and miserable. I know I’m not. Alison Lapper, Artist
A group exhibition exploring ideas of ‘boundary’ and ‘personal identity’.
Pale Outline, as stated by writer Kay Syrad, referred to the human body as an interface between inside and outside, public and private, self and society. However, although each of the artists had the human body as their subject, none of them was concerned to abstract the body; rather their concern was about the human condition as manifest or concealed in representations of the body.
Artist Alison Lapper was born with limb deficiency and her work is about how she looks and how people look at her body. Her self-portraits use photographic and digital media to reflect and respond to other people attitudes about her body, challenging society’s ideas about physical beauty, normality, disability and sexuality.
8 Dates & 4 Dinner Parties by Sarah Hardy is a diorama of all she ate over a period of three weeks. Although a tribute to the still life genre, Sarah considers such a tableau vivant as a kind of self portrait, where food becomes central to a sense of identity. Sculpture blurs into painting and visual art into theatre, while the High Art of the Still Life genre merges with the trivia of a 20th century social life.
Common Complaints by photographer Gordon MacDonald is a series of close up photographs of injured and irritated skin. This magnification of wounds and imperfections forces the viewer to a repulsive confrontation. These photographs sit in between the informative (medical) and the anthropological (voyeuristic), contrasting any notion of ideal beauty and body cult.