When concerning human anatomy, what lies underneath the skin is often ambiguous and misunderstood. However, a deeper understanding can influence decisions about one’s lifestyle and well-being as well as the perceptions he/she may have on beauty and individuality. With this work I hope to offer viewers an opportunity to reflect on internal anatomical structure and the biases we all carry. By using non-standard methods (embroidery) to depict facial musculature, technical information is presented in an atypical way, which can be less intimidating when compared to patient education materials, or medical illustrations. Embroidery is a medium that connotes comfort and home; is employed as both art and craft, for utilitarian and decorative purposes. I would like to bring this comfort into seeing and relating the self to underlying anatomy. Interestingly, the tactile and topographical characteristics of the thread built up take form, alluding to actual 3-dimensional anatomical structure and realism of the fibrous nature of muscle. As form, the musculature is connected to function; the underlying architecture influences the mechanics of expression and the appearance of an individual. This foundation is the part of the armature that makes each of us unique and also similar. With awareness of a common deep construct that exists across diverse sets of people, we can learn to connect with this shared internal level of beauty and appreciate all from within that influences what is viewed and judged at the superficial. One can also reflect on how actions and choices surface up from the inside out.
This work is featured as part of the 2017 Alumni Exhibition: “Ambiguities/Innuendoes? Go Fish.”, on view at the Stamps Gallery in Ann Arbor. Check the exhibition page for dates, times, and hours.