Meditations on the continuum of vitality
by Patricia Piccinini (2014)
Meditations on the continuum of vitality are a series of drawings that focus on corporeality. They combine elements that express the range of 'aliveness' in an individual body, as well as symbolising varying degrees of control. Blood, organs, skin and hair make up this continuum, moving from inside to outside and from unambiguously living to ambiguously dead. Blood is life itself, yet is hair even alive? Skin is our largest organ, our largest sense organ in fact, and the place where our internal self comes in contact with, and is protected, from the outside world. With our sexual organs, these distinctions between inside and outside are even more confused, as they are gateways that connects our own insides with someone else's. In these drawings the combination of these elements is amorphous and their distinctions are somewhat vague.
I have always used drawing as a central generative process in my practice. These drawings take this a step further, putting generation, both the body's and my own, at the centre of the process. There is a voluptuous flow where one element becomes another, and the bodiliness that the drawings represent is ambiguous rather than realistic or direct. Hair sits, as it always does, on the surface and represents the interplay of chaos and control that tends to characterise our relationship with our bodies. There is a beauty in both side, and in some ways the drawing process also reinforces this with a somewhat turbulent balance between careful drafting and the accidental flows of ink. I call these drawings meditations largely because of the reverie and rumination inherent in the process of drawing itself. They flow directly from my time, activity and focus.