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Holly Parkhouse

MA work

Skin as Medium & Metaphor

This project elaborates on and around the idea of Skin as Medium and Metaphor in Contemporary Art, with several short essays exploring the ways practicing women artists are rethinking identity in contemporary visual culture. Focusing on skin as a medium and a living canvas, it explores the multiple ways women artists are using skin to confront and reimagine traditional representations of the self and other, and skin as object.

It takes the form of an exhibition catalogue, actively collectivising the various perspectives of these artists, whilst drawing upon the shifting significance of the skins we live in. It features several extracts from interviews with artists to engage with the multifaceted ways skin can be interpreted and the signs it emits rethought.

Skin may appear to be a familiar territory but for the artists presented it remains a site of conflict, encouraging discussions around subjectivity, race, gender and class. The visual nature of skin as a medium is mutable, its meaning and what it signifies is never fixed or permanent, it changes constantly.

Can skin be denuded of memory?

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA Critical Writing in Art & Design, 2015

  • Inhabiting the world of art and writing, my practise is multi-disciplinary, combining text, film and audio. This work challenges epochs and narratives commonly used to characterise bodies and skin; without denouement what happens to identities and their stories?

    Previous subjects include: Identity politics, gender & sexuality, digitalisation of online bodies and space, objects and material-memories, absence and nostalgia, and the absurd.


    Final Project: Skin as Medium & Metaphor

    This project elaborates on and around the idea of Skin as Medium and Metaphor in Contemporary Art, with several short essays exploring the ways practicing women artists are rethinking identity in contemporary visual culture. Focusing on skin as a medium and a living canvas, it explores the multiple ways women artists are using skin to confront and reimagine traditional representations of the self and other, and skin as object. 

    It takes the form of an exhibition catalogue, actively collectivising the various perspectives of these artists, whilst drawing upon the shifting significance of the skins we live in. It features several extracts from interviews with artists to engage with the multifaceted ways skin can be interpreted and the signs it emits rethought. 

    Skin may appear to be a familiar territory but for the artists presented it remains a site of conflict, encouraging discussions around subjectivity, race, gender and class. The visual nature of skin as a medium is mutable, its meaning and what it signifies is never fixed or permanent, it changes constantly. 

    Can skin be denuded of memory?    

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) English, University of Exeter, 2011; Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Wimbledon College of Art, 2008
  • Experience

  • Freelance writer & editorial associate, Charles Saatchi, London, 2013; Head front of house, Pertwee, Anderson & Gold Gallery, London, 2012–13; Freelance writer, Urban Times Online Magazine, London, 2012; Publicity Internship, Granta Magazine, London, 2011
  • Publications

  • 'Catapults and Hammers', Albertopolis Companion, Royal College of Art, 2015; 'Frame', For Turner Contemporary: Writings on a Building, Royal College of Art, 2015