Ex Corpore by Carol Collicutt and WhiteFeather
the Andrew and Laura McCain Art Gallery, Florenceville, NB
My art practice has always referenced the concepts of deterioration and decay. In the past 6 or 7 years, this has extended from the natural and the architectural, to the human body. Given the obsession with youth and beauty ramped up by the media and the cult of celebrity, women today are faced with largely unattainable physical standards. This causes self-esteem and self-image issues in women of all ages. Our society reveres the physically beautiful and reviles the ugly or unattractive. Plastic surgeons and cosmetic companies prey on the insecurities of women and often the result is surgical intervention, even when there seems to be little reason for it.
My work deals with both the physical and the psychological aspects of these issues. Surgeries, both elective and necessary, the machinations women go through to attain the ideal, the insecurities that result from media bombardment, are all reflected in my work. The flip side of the equation is disease which also can affect how people feel about themselves, especially the radical surgeries and treatments that sometimes result.
The use of animal gut as lends a powerful reading to the work. The inherent properties of this charged material are seductive and beautiful, but represent something far more sinister and affecting. The message it carries is a one of impermanence and mortality, giving powerful meaning to the pieces on a more intellectual level.
This work will speak to everyone.
- Carol Collicutt
My work has typically included the themes of identity and physicality. The textile/fiber medium has served well to suggest bodily presence, where it refers to the formation of culture/self, memory and visceral matters.
The Chimeras explore meaning where spirituality/magic and the body overlap. Superstition persists despite an increasingly scientific awareness of the world; hair and discarded body parts violate cultural codes around health, safety and the protection of life/spirit. Drawing on traditions of folk magic, I have worked with what spirit once inhabited, reconstructing new existences through the language of symbolism.
Recently, I’ve begun to experiment further with scale, and to build sculptural life-sized forms from found/mixed media. My interest is in the mirror-self and the human tendency to extract and project either unacceptable or seemingly unattainable parts of oneself onto inanimate objects. It seems that this is done in order to dissociate from ugly and frightening aspects of self or to idolize greater parts, all parts that seem too grand to take responsibility for. Either way, this tendency can be seen as a practice of avoidance. It is these things which one might hope to avoid that I am interested in calling into question through my art making.
- WhiteFeather Hunter
Carol Collicutt and WhiteFeather are both visual artists living and working in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Through their involvement as artists, instructors, board members, directors, organizers and promoters, they are intricately woven into the New Brunswick art community. They are very familiar faces within Gallery Connexion, Gallery 78, UNB Art Centre, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD), Artsnb, and the New Brunswick Arts Board.
Each are heavily decorated in arts and education awards, each holding vast professional experience. Their solo, group, and collaborative exhibitions are numerous, as are the reviews and publications to their names.
The Andrew and Laura McCain Art Gallery is pleased to present their current collaborative exhibition, Ex Corpore.