I began working on the bellies – or navel series – during a residency in 2010 at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In my temporary studio there I had neither model nor skull to work from, and so turned attention to my own body. In retrospect the navel, that remnant of the life-giving umbilical cord, is deeply tied to the cyclical nature of life, loss, and change, so embedded in all portraits. Notwithstanding two early relief sculptures of bellies, they have thus far remained limited to works in watercolour.
In 2020, new self-portraits have emerged — cropped torsos rendered in the palest washes, controlled and restrained, very much there but also barely so. I have called this series ‘Some body’. Depending on how the phrase lands, it can evoke the specific and the anonymous; something partial or pleasing. It is different from
Any body or No body.