The plan for my work to continue was to recreate the shoot with Emily, but using my body. I have found it difficult to find artists that use their body in work that are not considered ‘thin’. I originally did not want my work to be about standards in society, however I think that because I am not small, this will happen regardless of my intention, so it makes sense to address it.
Women of bigger sizes are seen in abundance in renaissance art and paintings. Even currently, artists such as Jenny Saville use ‘fat’ figures in her work. Despite this being a popular artist, I feel that these paintings do not hold them in a place of beauty, as the stomachs are seen to be pressed upon glass in a ‘squished’ and confined way.
Even here, the grasping and grabbing of the flesh is aggressive and forced, and I feel does not portray the body as ‘beautiful’ and ‘natural’.
Searching for “plus size performance artist” on the Internet does not have many leads. One issue I have is the term “plus size”. Why must these bodies be “plus” or larger than ‘average’? Why is there a need to segregate them from the rest of society because of an extra layer of fat? This leads onto the issue of “fat= unhealthy”, and “skinny= healthy”, when this simply isn’t the case. So many people with this mentality lead to having eating disorders and this is simply unhealthy to the extreme of not being able to function.
Photographer and artist, Toby Burrows did a series called “Nothing to Lose” in which ‘plus sized’ models were used. These images involve movement and dance. The have elegance and beauty within them, however seem very theatrical in their style.
Looking at his other works, he uses typically ‘thin’ figures that you would expect to see. Something that I have an issue with is ‘plus sized’ people being used solely because of their size. Using ‘larger’ people should not be seen as using bigger figures, but should just be normalised to the point where the art they are featured in does not become about their size, but becomes about the work.