As a practitioner-researcher undertaking doctoral research at the University of Plymouth, my work entitled Re-Writing the Self, acknowledges that women's views of themselves and their bodies have historically been overlooked by art and society. Responding to the cultural phenomenon of self-imaging, I use modes of self-representation and digital technology to rethink women's practice through Posthuman and Feminist theories. Whilst my work is essentially 'all-about-me', I seek to connect personal experience to the universal human-condition. Exploring identity, its formation and de/re-construction, I relate personal narratives of alienation through embodied, experimental and conceptual works using mainly lens-based media.
My current work considers the way complex inscriptions are acquired physically and psychologically, through lived-experience and the temporal trace. In Semiotics of the Selves, I re-enact an A-Z of multiple selves; in Material Inscriptions, I document the ephemeral impressions left on the body eg, by restrictive clothing, and; in The Damaged Family Photo Albums, I explore the way images - as memories - distort reality, decay and are re-imagined through time. In this way, my practice-research contests the how, what or who we appear to be at any one time, or in any one image.
Navigating aspects of the self, I seek to articulate the motivations and structures underpinning individual and collective identity. Using performance-to-camera and the properties of the medium to investigate difficult-to-articulate personal histories, insights into trauma and identity can emerge. As beings-in-the-world open to cycles of damage and restoration - we are enmeshed in a web of shifting ideologies - constantly repositioning and redefining our multiple selves.
Gail's website is being redesigned. An archive of past works is available at: theparadoxfactory.com