Julie Read: O.S. form no. 1, 9 (respectively}

  • ©,



    O.S. form no. 1, 9 (respectively}


Creation Year:



    Digital prints


    56 centimeters x 52 centimeters each


Artist Statement:

    My art is based on ideas of existence, who we are and what makes us different to the next person, and how our characters and identities are formed and change over time. Construction of small contour drawings have evolved from the negative forms of 10 individuals’ navel casts. The delicate lines carefully follow the individuals’ birth chord, creating an image from this part of the body, which, from its cutting at birth, marks the beginning of a new individual taking its first breath and from this developing its self and identity. In this sense, these drawings can be seen to correspond to birthplaces, birthrights, and, more obviously, land mass. The images are digitally created and produced in a medium that can be seen as very cold and impersonal, immediately depersonalizing the viewer from the very intimate area of the body that is the subject of the drawings. The area is explored as transparent layers building up a three-dimensional form, using tones that would correspond to an ordnance survey ink used on maps. These marks are as individual as fingerprints yet have the potential to change over time, so they are quite fluid in structure.

Technical Information:

    The first part of the process is to take a cast from a person’s navel. This body imprint is then surveyed by pouring a black liquid around the form at varying levels. Each level is documented with a digital camera, and the images are then worked in two image-manipulating programmes to record the layers on top of each other. The lines are smoothed and filled with increasing transparency of ink, from dark
    brown to white. The final output is a digital print on paper. This contrast between the messy pouring of ink, casting and surveying with the digitized manipulation, and output provides a dynamic aesthetic and, for me, an image of intrigue and abstraction.