All Is Aberration: the vowels of pain


aberration / aeba'reo(e)m/n/ n/  aberrant behaviour; moral or mental lapse.  Biol deviation from a normal type.  3 distortion of an image because of a defect in a lens or mirror.  4  Astrn.  apparent displacement of a celestial body.  (from the Oxford Dictionary of Current English)

My experience of chronic illness informs this work on invisible disability---a relevant form of "difference" when considered in the post-modern dialogue on exclusion and "otherness”.  This work intends to challenge related societal preconceptions, biases, and political/social attitudes while examining constructs of pain.

The female body, presented through the image of a contortionist, serves as a metaphor for the condition of invisible disability, striving to conform to the norm. A large surveillance mirror captures and reflects the viewer in their own distortion. The definition of aberration is hand-embroidered across the edge of a sweep of red silk, and a steel shelf holds plaster casts of teeth, holding the vowels of pain clenched in their mouths: A, E, I, O, U, Y, each strip or ‘tongue’ is printed with a single vowel and a corresponding small icon of a contortionist, their pose assuming the form of the letter.  Crying babies performing these vowel sounds serve a as a conceit for the human condition in an accompanying audio recording.