Emma Tierney Link Being Human

IMAGE: Graphite Study of Cupping set
IMAGE: Sketchbook page exploring different ideas
IMAGE: Studies of wounds
IMAGE: Sketchbook page exploring ideas further
IMAGE: Graphite torso study
IMAGE: Acrylic torso study
IMAGE: Acrylic back study with wounds
IMAGE: Acrylic painting of merged body and cupping

At the start of the project I chose the Cupping Set. One of the first things that interested me about Cupping Therapy was how harmful it could be if it were preformed wrong. I took inspiration from instances where Cupping proved to be more harmful than beneficial and used that to explore how the human body can react badly to things in a way that is not very pretty. I liked the idea of exploring the ‘uglier’ side of the human body as it is usually looked at as a beautiful thing. I experimented with different ways of portraying the strange practice of cupping and its effects. I began with paintings of wounds close up, deliberately trying to not make them ‘prefect’ or pretty. I studied the human torso from behind, as the back is the most common location for Cupping, which I then incorporated with Cupping through studies of the process itself. In the final painting I did I took the posthuman idea of merging body and medicine together to an extreme and merged Cupping cups with a body until the human did not seem quite human anymore.

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