Final year project
In Touch [Read more]
Second Skin (2020)
My interest in the sense of touch arose when I began criticizing the long-established notion that the haptic is inferior to vision or disembodied 'rationalism'. Here, I used latex - a malleable, tactile material - to create a jacket. This material was chosen due to its hard-to-ignore, skin-like texture as if someone were to wear the garment they would undoubtedly be made aware of their physicality and the fact that their mind and body are in constant communication with one another. Overall, this work successfully portrayed my desired concept: that the corporeal is inextricable from the mind and at the core of our being in the world, thus making it just as important as other senses or knowledge.
This piece was also selected and displayed in the 'Visual Impact' exhibition at the MTC, Coventry.
[Monoprint text on latex skin-casts, handsewn to form a jacket].
Clasp - clasp/handle/hold/hug [Close-up] (2020)
I have focused on touch and the body in relation to womanhood. Here, I wanted to echo the uncomfortable associations of female corporeality with control and inhibition by using uncanny imagery of hands 'cut off at the wrist' on the body (specifically, by creating a bra out of them). By choosing an item this revealing I wanted to echo the phallogocentric labels of women as fantasy and fetish, but also a force to control and restrict as clothes often can. Likewise, I titled the work using words that are associated with both touch and clothing/accessories.
[Multicolour latex hands and fingers made from vacuum-form moulds, hand-sewn to form a bra].
Clasp - clasp/handle/hold/hug (2020)
Inspired by Salvador Dalí’s 'Venus with Drawers' (1936), the balaclava in addition to the bra helped to feed into both representations of women as either empowered and strong or as threatening and potentially violent 'femmes fatales'. Simultaneously, this mask possesses entrapping of liberating possibilities.
[Multicolour latex hands and fingers made from vacuum-form moulds, hand-sewn to form a balaclava and a bra].
'Enclosure' is from an experimental photoshoot where latex hands were placed on the body, appearing to control or restrict the female subject. The results represent ‘touch’ as a foreign invasion of the body and the external force of societal expectations placed onto women (where the positioning of hands near the womb signals to issues related to women's reproductive rights).
[Black and white photo of latex hands on a woman's stomach].
The ongoing pandemic has necessitated that I adapt my practice to working remotely. This challenge, although initially daunting, has made me a much more flexible and resourceful worker, such as using my garage at home as a photography studio. Although the lack of studio space and university facilities at times has been tough, I am definitely grateful for the fact that I now can make a more conscious effort to rely on what I already have at my disposal.
[Latex hand fashioned into an earring and modelled].
With my 'dress-up series, I presented femininity as a farcical performance through photography and videos. Edited pink for its association to women and its artificiality, the latex relief of a mannequin represents feminine ideals as well as Freud's theory of the uncanny in its ambiguity between what is real and artificial; living and dead. The morph suit modelled also possesses the potential to be restrictive, suffocating, and protective all at once.
[Latex skin-cast of a mannequin bust, modelled over the subject wearing a morph suit].
Life in Her Hands (2020)
'Life in Her Hands' represents the uncanny permanence of how mother and child are fused together genetically, emotionally, and once were physical. The unnerving nature of this is represented in the lifelessness of the hands and what they're composed of: jelly (which also mirrors the reality that the mother and child both nourish and starve one another, metaphorically and physically).
The inherent association of this work to cooking, eating, and mealtimes, also relate it to the domestic role of the mother and ritualistic practices that normalise repressive gender roles.
Overall, this project referred to Freud’s theory of the uncanny and applied it to women’s spaces in the world. Creating wearable pieces and videos (as featured on my YouTube), I critiqued his phallogocentric writings which feed into restrictive definitions of women as mere fetish, home, or mother.
[Miniature plastic babies cast in agar jelly and photographed].
Most recently, I have directed my attention to the effects of minimised physical connection as a result of COVID-19 and the upsetting dynamic that both touch - and a lack of it - can be pernicious.
Thankfully, my friends and family were open to sharing their personal experiences of this for my video titled 'Notre monde se touche', translated as: “Our world touches itself, can be touched, is touched; our world is in touch” (Derrida, J., 2005, p. 53). This work represents just how pertinent being ‘in touch’ with one another is, which the current circumstances can be said to especially shine a light on.
This photograph specifically is an example of posters I put up around Loughborough and my home town. I combined meditative mantras with informative government guidelines which, although possessing extremely different purposes and generating disparate tones independently, somehow bear similarities when placed together (for instance, in their reference to the body and responsiveness).
[Black and white text-based poster].
An ambitious, multidisciplinary artist dedicated to expanding her worldview through learning from others.
My work focuses on the body, feminism, tactile art, and wearable items.
My exhibition project in particular explores the significance of touch for human existence. To research this first-hand, I conducted multiple interviews and gathered a range of feedback on the topic to translate into latex works and videos (being proficient in using Adobe Premiere Pro).
My undergraduate degree has made me adept at consistent time management towards the development and realisation of creative ideas. Completing this project was also a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate my hard work and initiative, notably in my independent creation of an installation. Overall, the study of Fine Art has developed my enthusiastic and inquiring attitude when faced with challenges, such as working to an ever-increasing scale and adapting my work in response to critique from peers and tutors.
I would love to continue developing these positive qualities and am eager to work professionally, especially in roles that involve creating and collaborating alongside others. The potential to apply my creative knowledge to the world of psychology and therapy is a concept that also excites me.
Final year project
2018 – End of Year Art Exhibition, City and Islington College, June [created an A0 installation of hanging wooden paintings which were displayed, and invigilated the exhibition space].
2020 – Visual Impact, Manufacturing Technology Centre, February [submitted artwork which was chosen to be exhibited].
2020 – LANDED, Loughborough University, March [set up an installation with peers which involved organising the purchase and rent of materials/equipment, risk assessing the room, and presenting our work which developed my interpersonal skills].
- Completed a module on Arts Management, achieving a First-Class mark.
- Researched and wrote my dissertation (titled 'Body Extensions in Art and Visual Culture from 1936 to the Present Day:
How an Unorthodox Corporeality is Glorified in Posthumanism'), achieving a First-Class mark.
- Painting of George Floyd published in Esquire magazine (November/December edition 2020), where all profits were donated to charity.
- Sculptural and video works published in the zine 'Our Restless Bones' (all profits also donated to charity, May 2021).
- Made several sales on Etsy and personal commissions via Instagram.
Workshop Leader at Tate Exchange, Tate Gallery, London, 19th - 21st March 2018
• I achieved success by having my idea chosen as a creative workshop for the public to participate in. Responsibilities included setting up workstations with peers, guiding members of the public through workshops, and creating collectively. This improved my collaborative skills, confidence, and leadership capabilities.
Running and maintaining my blog @aconti.art on Instagram, 2018 – Present
• Advertising my art practice through a business account has improved my understanding of online art marketing and promotion, having made several sales via my Etsy and expanding my follower count to 450.
Volunteering at City and Islington College, 19th September 2019
• I delivered a PowerPoint presentation to Foundation Diploma students describing my Fine Art practice and answering any questions about the transition from Foundation to Undergraduate Study. I also produced handouts in advance with general advice, demonstrating my enthusiasm and preparedness, whilst the presentation strengthened my public speaking skills.