Junior, Stamps School of Art & Design
Knowledge is Beauty explores the relationship of anatomical knowledge with my experiences of being a medical child. Due to a variety of health issues as a child, medical professionals often ignored my concerns and spoke softer to me. Out of frustration, I spent my childhood gaining anatomical knowledge in order to challenge them and sought out being on their level of knowledge. I found beauty in the structures beneath our skins as they create and dismantle aspects of our identities. I desired to feel beautiful, and so knowledge became my beauty.
Beneath the surface of our skin, these structures determine who we are as individuals and my sculptures represent the uniqueness that our bodies hold.
My fascination began in my early adolescence throughout the time spent in numerous medical settings. As a young woman struggling with various health issues, I often found myself being belittled by medical professionals as they would speak to my parents, dumb down conservatives, and disregard my concerns. With difficulties surrounding menstruation, deafness, autoimmune disease, and Ehler Danlos Syndrome, I find myself meeting more specialists every year. Out of frustration, I spent my childhood gaining anatomical knowledge in order to challenge them and sought out being on their level of knowledge.
By educating myself of my own anatomy, I was able to defend myself and advocate for better treatment. The decision to choose a human, prey, and predator in my work aims to represent the misconceptions of medical professionals being superior and patients being clueless, by showing that the underneath structures aren’t as different as many would expect. No matter the knowledge one contains, we are the same.
My time in hospital settings inspired an interest in scientific illustration and anatomy because I needed to understand the processes I was going through. I found a certain beauty in the anatomical structures that I feel many did not find attractive. Hospitals and medical settings are continuously full of death and decay, a place of disgust and discomfort; but, I was desperate to find beauty in a place rotted with ugliness.
I needed to feel beautiful, and so knowledge became my beauty.
These sculptures depict my anatomical knowledge because in order to create them, I had to study each bone and muscle, and each process and insertion, in order to fully grasp the dimensionality of my work. The process continued to astonish me and I felt more attraction with every piece of information gained. The beauty of my pieces show how alluring the little structures are beneath our skin and how irresistable it can be to be knowledgeable. Viewers are invited to challenge, understand, ignore, or be disgusted with the pieces.
Therefore, the secret that my pieces withhold is that intelligence is a form of beauty. Our anatomical structures beneath our skin create and dismantle aspects of our identities. The more you can learn and understand about the elements depicted in these sculptures, the more beauty you may be able to find in the world.