An ongoing series of lino prints, the “visual biographies” use coded motifs and images of community landmarks to form a narrative of a characters’ journey through juxtaposed constrictions and freedom.
The tattoo motifs form a code that reads much like Russian Criminal tattoos. The landmarks, often pubs, are paralleled to images on convicts bodies of Cathedrals, often located centrally on the chest.
By showing these symbols on a hand a very personal image is created; hands being a communicator, when makings gestures or guiding a conversion when telling a story.
Maps are sometimes included as a second layer of the finished print to create a sense of place.
Themes of institutionalisation and identity run through the series, helping form the narrative for each piece.
Pictured: WIP of “Visual Biography of a Babe Drinking at the Tote” 2017, “Visual Biograpy of a Chef at the Bendigo“, 2017, “Visual Biography of a Teenager on the Steps of Flinders Street Station” 2016, test print of “Visual Biography of a Mum of 3 Dancing at the Nash” 2017.
The Swanston Street Series
“…to me tattooing is the externalisation of the internal, inked eternally onto the skin.”
The Swanston Street Series is an ongoing project, which began in 2015 as a series of paintings created during a series of stays in Geelong’s Swanston Center.
An exploration of emotions embedded in the tattooed skin of the institutionalized.
The paintings (and sketches) have been translated and developed into a collection of lino prints (currently a work in progress) to be exhibited in 2017.
Above: artist proofs of lino cuts for Swanston Street Series
Some of the designs have been printed as “temporary tattoos” to be applied in an interactive performance piece by the artist, complete with “temporary tattoo machine” (Date TBC). A preliminary study for the piece is under way, with temporary tattoos and “constructed relics” mailed out to participants. Photos of the tattoos will be displayed on the website as received.
CLICK HERE to see the video of the first performance.
Below: Preliminary study for interactive performance piece.
Copyright (c) Emma Armstrong-Porter 2016.