Shape Shifters

Eyre, Sarah ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Shape Shifters. [Creative Project]


This Creative Project by Eyre is a series of photographic collages exhibited as prints and three digital animated videos presented on screens. Research Process: the dissemination was an exhibition that questioned historical depictions of women in photography, all the artists used strategies that disrupt, frustrate and challenge the camera’s gaze; a gaze historically associated with an objectifying male perspective. Eyre’s response derived from a previous project (Twitch, shift, jerk, slip, repeat 2020) and used collage and animated GIFs. The work started with photographs culled from fashion magazines, and the collage (digital and analogue) methods entwined and enfolded the images to create irregular and changeable representations of the female body. Visual fissures breached and intruded on both the depicted images and on the photographic surface, making both strange. Research Insights: Eyre’s wider research explores the way that women participate in the ongoing labour of maintaining and controlling our bodily surfaces, which can be a fruitless task because the corporeal body is changeable, porous, leaky and ages. The methods used to produce the new work - ‘Shape Shifters’ draw attention to this and the ways that the practices of photography are implicit in this process. We use the photograph to try and fix our appearance, to still our slipping surfaces. Yet, the photograph can also contradict our assumptions about stability, as its own material surface can be slippery and unstable. Shape Shifters makes these slippages tangible through the combination of different digital and analogue materials, textures and effects, and drawing comparisons between the physical upkeep of our physical surfaces and the disruptive buffering, freezing and glitching of our digital selves. Dissemination: The work was exhibited at Home Gallery and the Waterside Lauriston Gallery in Manchester 16 September – 7 November 2021.

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