Building on the themes of self and truth established by my last post I would like to introduce you to body writing.
A personal passion and pastime of mine, I first started writing on my body when I was a small child. This I believe, grew out of a great passion for literature and handwriting. By the time I was 9 years old I had progressed to writing important words, thoughts and poems in secret places; discovering the profound importance of the unseen, unwritten and inexpressible.
At 18 years old I started practising Chinese calligraphy and ink painting (Shūfǎ 書法 – The “way/method/law of writing). At last I felt I had found a true form of self expression and the tide of words at last had direction and purpose.
Before we launch on this artistic and philosophical journey of the written word, I want to share a few images to explain my artistic position and the evolution of this as my art.
Before I show you weighty tomes of thought written upon the body, let us explore the notes…
Above is my first attempt at body writing with another person. The characters are all Chinese ‘Kai Shu 楷書’ script and were written on me by my favourite lover while we were at university together. I selected the characters years before whilst learning Chinese calligraphy, the order is deliberate and forms a story of life experience. These images were taken with a small 3mp phone camera.
I wrote “please!” everyday before school underneath my knee-socks from the age of 9 until I finished high school. On hot summer days when I wasn’t wearing socks I wrote it on my inner thighs. It felt extremely important to have written on me as it was what I wanted to scream all day, everyday but could not. Exactly why I was saying “please” or what I was asking for I do not know, all I can say is that it was the word that needed to break out. It was always written with a lower case ‘p’. These images were taken with a 5mp phone camera.
I feel the above images probably sum up the day to day reality of this body writing. I think this is perhaps it, at its most honest.
Painters had come to our house to paint outside and were wandering everywhere, banging and yelling. I am on the autistic spectrum and things like this are intensely frightening and painful for me. I am terrified of strangers, my home is my sanctuary and to have so many people wandering around, making noise is more than I can bear. It is an inelegant truth that I spent that morning sheltering in the foetal position in my bathroom; a 27 year old woman rendered helpless, crying, rocking and head-banging in a corner like a child. A pen is usually all I have with me in these instances and this is what I wrote on this particular occasion. The images were taken with an 8mp phone camera.
I have shown and explained these images to you because I feel they express what comes next in my work in its rawest, purest, most honest state. I want you to understand.
If you would like an overview of Chinese calligraphy please click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_calligraphy
If you would like more detailed information and to the see the works of the great calligraphic masters please click here: http://www.chinapage.org/callig1.html#masters