Questioning Nudity

In a study on Eve pre-Fall nudity plays a pretty large part, but I’ve been trying to come to it from a different perspective.

I know that there will be some who condemn me for creating what some might call “lewd”, for displaying a woman’s form in all it’s beauty, because it might tempt men, Christian brothers (and sisters I might add) into sin. I could be seen to be putting temptation in their way and just adding to the waves of sexual imagery and nudity in the world media. I do understand this, and I don’t like the idea that women have on occasion used their bodies to flirt and manipulate men (and vice verse), or that media constantly uses the female body as a selling technique.

What I am hoping to do is totally separate from the abuse of men and women world-over. Nudity in my project is not about exhibitionism, it is about removing a veil of shame that has been over women for thousands of years based on the mistakes of one man and one woman (whether literal or not). It is about beauty, and individuality, and curiosity, and wholeness. Nudity within my paintings and drawing will not be about showing genitalia, but they will also not avoid it simply to make certain people happier about the viewpoint. I hope this makes sense. I would never want to tempt anyone into an area they weren’t comfortable but I also reject the idea that a woman’s body is simply a temptation. She had a body before a man saw it, she was formed a woman in her own right, not simply as a sexual toy to be stared at. I will not hide a body created, I will question the view that turns that body into primarily an object of desire.

I want to be clear that this does not mean that I think sexuality isn’t a part of the original creation. Everything about a woman’s breast, to the depth of her hips, to the curve of her belly speaks of her potential to bear children, and this is connected completely with sex. However, to subject a woman to only this part of them. A woman is not only her ovaries, not only her breasts. She is spirit and soul and mind and flesh and cells. Women can contain life, but they can choose not too, and they can sadly lose that capability. None of this makes them less or more of a woman, simply because there is so much more to them. Their potential was written into their souls and it is ridiculous that woman have continually been locked into only one part of themselves and told they have failed if that part does not fit them.

It is this potential that I hope to bring out within painting a body. This might not seem possible, but I believe art can contain more layers than it is given credit for, and is truthful in a way words cannot be.

I am hoping to redeem the body but this instead brings up issues. For example, in a flawed world where pain and mistakes happen, how do I reach a Pre-Eve image. Would that mean “airbrushing” a woman’s body to cover scars, cuts, anything that might not have ever occurred in a Pre-Fall world? Although part of me feels that this might be as close to Eve, it wouldn’t be true of the women infront of me, the women who have suffered and been damaged and made choices. If, on the other hand, were to portray a beautiful truthful view of these women could I suggest that a Pre-Fall Eve is the inspiration and not the redemption itself. By redeeming an image of Eve, I hope to question the perspective of women over the centuries, and to present the potential woman hold, as Eve held far before her mistake.

I realise I may not have explained myself well but I will be creating a brief of what I am hoping to do with the help of a model. If you are interested please ask any questions and I will do my best to answer them.

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