Syniva Whitney (MFA 2009)
MARKS AND SCARS
I have been collecting digital images of beauty marks, moles, wrinkles and aberrations of the internal and external body. Images are of my own body and the bodies of my friends and family. I weave these pieces by hand using a digital jacquard loom. I use the technical constraints of the Jacquard loom to abstract the source material. The personal becomes mapped out through the binary system of weaving. Through warp and weft, the problematic personal becomes an abstracted object. The weaves are structured by translating images of astronomical grids and scientific diagrams. The materials (party ribbon, industrial plastics, soft cottons and wools) become transformed through structure. A relationship develops between the microscopic and the macroscopic, the constructive and destructive. Like the loose and dangling threads, bodies come together and bodies fall apart. The same mark can be simultaneously beautiful (a beauty mark), ugly (a wart) and destructive (a malignant tumor). These marks tell stories, threaten health, and define identities. They are part of a whole, and yet can be exploded by their role in a person’s body: a scar that is a reminder of a violent past, or a cluster of interior cells that slowly takes over, a presence as hard to imagine as the far reaches of the universe.