Collective Coverings, Communal Skin, 2012
Jemima Wyman (b. 1977, Sydney Australia) is an artist who lives in Los Angeles, U.S.A and Brisbane, Australia.
Wyman’s new artwork for the Liverpool Biennial, Collective Coverings, Communal Skin, will explore camouflage fabric as a material with symbolic links to violence and conflict. Donated second-hand camouflage and hunting t-shirts will be used as weaving material on hula-hoop looms. The local community is invited to meditatively weave with the artist while transforming objects of conflict (uniforms/hunting t-shirts) into objects of comfort (soft psychedelic weavings). All of these individual woven contributions will then be added together to construct an internal architecture at FACT, re-territorializing the hard architecture of the institution into a site of radical hospitality. The process and final woven architecture will create space for group catharsis by building a communal site for contemplation, conversation and embodied knowledge.
Wyman has made Mandala-like hand-cut collages of liberation armies in irregular military uniforms, visually aggressive nomadic architecture, moveable communal body pillows and paintings of anonymously clad camouflaged bodies in protest from recent historic events. Her practice in its breadth aims to tackle the transformative potential of fabric representing its part in world events while also producing environments for the visitor to experience its effects first hand.
Jemima Wyman investigates the political potential of patterned fabric through photography, video, painting and social practice. Wyman is interested in generating and illustrating ‘communal skins’. This term was devised by the artist to articulate the role of fabric as social camouflage. Her work aims to explore the formal, political and psychological potentiality of camouflage in reference to collective identity. Patterned fabric over the centuries has been pathologized as feminine, decorative and passive. Wyman disagrees with these art historical notions of pattern. She began researching where patterned fabric was used in contradiction to this idea, where it appeared as a visual resistance strategy in conflict, protest and war.
Recent exhibitions include the 17th Sydney Biennale: THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age (2010) and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan (2011) and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2009).