Flora McFarlane Link The Beauty of the Macabre

IMAGE: Distortion Of Draping

My work is inspired by the idea of a Victorian Freak Show, because it gave me the chance to explore a different kind of body beautiful. From the archive I explored an amputation set from 1860, sinister with all the sharp, metallic blades, it suggested many possibilities to me, perhaps top of these ideas was the idea of cutting, shaping, changing the appearance. The detailed anatomical studies of Leonardo da Vinci, form the lecture The Age of Humanism, the changing ideals of beauty discussed in Robyne Calert ‘Body as a Tool/Body as a canvas’ lecture and humanities fascination with changing our appearance all influenced my concept. The work of performance artist, Orlan also inspired my textiles. The ‘The Post-human’ written by Rosi Braidotti challenges the idea that not everyone is human and through history humans have not treated others as humans. This led me to think of The Victorian freak shows, an example of how society has treated those that seem different to the norm, people who had disabilities or abnormality in appearance. The Victorian society treated these people as objects to be put on display. Though we are all of different colour, race, identity we are all human, of flesh and blood.

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