The first meaning of the word “person” was “mask” or “a false face”. I have explored replications of the human form in a historic and contemporary context to investigate the different ideas and perceptions we have of ourselves, others and our relationship with our environment. Forms including death masks and artificial intelligence appear to contribute to André Bazin’s mummy complex theory, the human psychological desire to defeat death. In modern life we not only fear death but also often disassociate the world around us from our physical being and our ego. It is thought in the west that the soul resides within the head and the rest of our body dangles from it, the skin is seen as a physical barrier. However, according to the philosopher, Alan Watts, it is only when we blur the boundary between ourselves and the universe that we no longer have to fight time. I have explored representations of the physical body in my painting and presented on an altarpiece due to the spiritual nature of the subject. It is a contemplative work exploring separations, boundaries, mortality and ego.
80cm x 50cm
Oil paint on hardboard