The only brief for this project was “2003” and the medium was open as long as we produced 5 pieces of work. I thought back to 2003 when I was doing a lot of ballet and I thought about the nasty reality of eating disorders often going hand-in-hand with this art form. I decided to use a pair of my old pointe shoes as a base for the first work and bought a women’s magazine, tore out the images to do with women’s bodies and collaged one of the shoes. One of the articles was criticising Reese Witherspoon for not yet ‘losing her baby body’ when it had already been 6 months! (outrageous!) This kind of criticism paints a very unachievable image for young women. The other pointe shoe I filled with blood coloured paint, with a fake toenail hanging from it- this represents the physical pain that is hidden from the viewer that the dancer tends to later. I often lost my toenails after going on pointe and in performance season we used to soak our feet in methylated spirits to help them form callouses and prevent blisters. Ouch.
The second piece I chose to do was a teeth mould to represent the tooth decay often found in people who have bulimia.
The third piece is a canvas that reflects the internal thoughts of a person with an eating disorder, but is only able to be read when a mirror is held up to it. (handy that I used to practice writing in mirror reverse!). Meanwhile, the positive inverse thought is hidden from view and leads off the canvas completely.
The final piece hangs from the ceiling, a little figure crouched up and spinning in the chaos that is her lonely world.