My fine art practice incorporates photography, video, installation, sound, and found images to probe gender roles and hierarchical power structures in patriarchal society. I am inspired by Eastern philosophies, Eco-feminism, and Animal Studies to explore human and animal consciousness, and analogous behaviours and emotions; such as empathy, play, fear, and anxiety.
Have you ever wondered which came first: the chicken or the Chihuahua? In my collage project, The Little Book of Chi, I re-appropriate found magazine and Internet images of chickens, chihuahuas, and children; through a playful and meditative approach. The little book I am currently creating is an example of my wider collage practice, which aims to dissect man’s unsettling relationship with non-human animals. I replace the gaze of the child with the gaze of one of two domesticated animals: the chicken or the chihuahua, the former, a consumable objectified commodity, the latter, a humanized dog; nonconsumable in Western culture. The work invites the viewer to contemplate the notion of chi as a natural energy and life force, inherent in all living, breathing sentient beings. To consider to what extent animals and human animals share the planet equally through “breath” or “air”, and man’s apparent air of superiority to other animals.
“All living creatures on this earth live under the same sky and breathe the same air, share the same incorporeal space and bodily vulnerability: Breathing is thus the first and last physical act that enables us to live, while at the same time making us corporeal, mortal and vulnerable.”
–Sara Stuva, “Breathing with Animals: Irigaray’s Contribution to Animal Ethics” published in Breathing with Luce Irigaray, Lenart Škof (ed.), Bloomsbury Academic (2013).
I am a British artist based in London. I spent several years in Italy, where I had my first training in photography. Followed by post-graduate studies in Photography at Central St Martins and London College of Communication. I have been crazy about collage for the past 5 years. What I love about collage is the physical act of cutting, playing, and refashioning the images we are bombarded with on a daily basis. For me, collage feels like meditation, where I am completely immersed in the present moment.
Exhibitions have included Brighton Photo Fringe, Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institute, Barbican Arts Trust, and Krakow Photomonth. I have led participatory photography and collage projects commissioned by Arts Council England and at The Photographer’s Gallery London. More recently, I showed work at the Animal Museum in Los Angeles with 14 international artists to commemorate Carol J. Adam’s 25th Anniversary of The Sexual Politics of Meat. My writing and photographs are published in the accompanying book The Art of the Animal. My work was also presented at the Minding Animals Conference in Mexico City. Awards include a prize in Digital Media at MaMSIE University of Birbeck. From 2015-2017, I travelled through 16 countries in Asia teaching filmmaking, collage and photography to kids from underserved communities. Also, making films to help marine conservation, human-trafficking, women’s and animal welfare organisations.
On Skillshare, I am creating a series of video tutorials on Collage and Mindful Montage. Inspired by female collage artists, the first two in the series look at the work of Hannah Höch and Martha Rosler.