Internationally renowned body artist exhibits at DMU

Beautiful body art exploring health and wellbeing is on display at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

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Artist Emma Fay worked with participants of Leicester’s Community Learning Project, the West Indian Senior Citizens' project at Leicester Ageing Together and members of the public to find out what wellbeing meant to them and the role mental health plays within it.

After interviews with each participant, Emma visually portrayed their perceptions onto their own body, which were then captured by photographer David Wilson Clarke.

The result is a powerful collection of 10 photographs, called Remedies and Reason, showing at DMU’s Trinity House until Wednesday 9 January.

Leicester-based Emma, whose worldwide and viral success has led to work with clients ranging from the BBC and Sky Atlantic to Action Homeless and Tiger Balm, said: “It’s been a real privilege and a pleasure getting to know the participants involved in the project.

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“I found it particularly interesting to compare the physical versus the mental elements they spoke about, which served as a reminder that we all have our own view of what it means to be well.

“The real challenge was deciding whether my artwork should be literal or a metaphorical representation of each person’s perceptions.”

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It took several months for the exhibition to come together, from initial interviews and painting participants, to photographing them and finally hanging the pieces up at DMU.

Although Emma is keen for visitors to interpret the artwork in their own way, the photographs come with a transcript of each participant’s interview beside them.

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“Howard talked a lot about ‘going down the wrong road’, so it was fitting to paint a winding pathway on his body,” she said.

“Catherine lost her son and found comfort in looking at photos of him. The only way I could do her story justice was to paint his image on her.

“I hope that anyone coming into contact with the work will be inspired and touched by the lives of the people depicted.”

To visit the exhibition contact Trinity House reception on 0116 207 6090 or threception@dmu.ac.uk. Trinity House is a working building so viewing is by appointment only to ensure the best time for visitors to enjoy the exhibition. Over the festive period, the building will be closed from Monday 24 December until Tuesday 1 January inclusive.

The exhibition is funded by the University of Leicester’s Health Matters community engagement project, thanks to the Edith Murphy Foundation, and co-ordinated by community engagement officer Pamela Campbell-Morris.

Posted on Wednesday 28th November 2018

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