Gwen Hardie
An oval of skin on a black rectangle.

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Body 10/17/11
Collection of the artist

I seek to find a nonliteral way to create a portrait in painting, where the body is considered in relation to the greater natural world and as primary witness to the living person it houses. My Boundaries series refers to my perception of skin as a boundary between inner and outer, self and other. The concept of beauty and the body underpins my work. Using myself as model, I observe and magnify from life small portions of my skin lit by the sun. Light effects are depicted in subtle shifts of colors and tones that appear luminous and create a sense of spaciousness to the close-up view. Rather than presenting an idealized version of myself, my blemishes, moles, and skin discolorations are included simply as part of reality. The act of perception is brought into focus as much as the body image, thus inviting an open-ended exploration of personal identity.