Monday, November 16, 2009

Body Images

Uninhibited self expression is one of the prerequisite perks of being an artist. For Laura Young, this comes in the form of turning her body into a piece of art.

“The drawings started as a way to merge the camera with my self- image. I stare at myself in the mirror and start drawing. It is a process that evolves as I’m staring at myself,” said Young.

“I take about one hundred frames, and out of that one hundred frames I will get about five to fifteen pictures that I choose,” said Young. As far as her artistic practice Young said, “I’m taking self portrait photographs. I’m making my body my canvas.”

Young has cards with her image on them with the quote, “My body is the tangible container in which I carry my mutable identity. My skin is the container’s surface. It is the protective but vulnerable membrane. It is the boundary, an organ, and a pelt upon which I inscribe my longings.”

When asked if she has had people that have had problems with her nudity in the photographs she responded, “Yes. I have a tendency not to force it on people. I’ve had people reject my work because of it.”

“When I first started taking photographs I didn’t think I would show my body. It has changed me. I’m not as concerned with how I look. It has been a positive experience,” said Young.

Why the tribal markings? “I found the only thing I could do that wouldn’t look like something else were the dots and lines,” Young said. She said that the materials used are a Sharpie marker or artist’s ink.

Young’s work also has varied facial expressions. “I am experimenting with different things. When I try different things, sometimes I wonder if I will look like an animal or something,” she said.

Young said that there are limitations on what she does. “For me, limitations are that I don’t have a photographer’s studio. I have to do all of my work when the sunlight is shining,” she said.

Psychology major Natasha Marshall said, “I thought that it was interesting to find someone who was expressive of her body.” “I thought it was good because she could express her body,” said Latoya Sawyers.

Young’s work can be seen in the lobby of the Thigpen library. Her website is

Volunteer State Community College

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