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  • Writer's pictureAnya Naumovic

Louise Bourgeois

Louis Bourgeois was a French, sculptor and painter who explore a wide array of themes throughout her career as an artist. Bourgeois explored sexuality and the body and domesticity, which all stemmed from the trauma she experienced throughout her childhood. The act of creating art based in trauma was a therapeutic process for her; this aspect is something I want to incorporate into my artist process, as the purgative notion of creating something from pain is ultimately cathartic, both for myself and for the audience. Bourgeois also practised the destruction of her artwork, which again was part of her healing process, taking emotional ties of anger and physically applying it to her artwork. Her work embodied memory, and the artworks punishment was a way of understanding and overcoming those emotions.

Bourgeois, regarding her sexual work, depicted in work such as ‘Janus Fleuri’ took the male and female body and transformed it into something unknown and foreign despite it inherently being physically a part of us. She manipulated the male body to give power back to the female gender as the woman is subjected to the oppressive values that the phallus has. Away from Bourgeois’ sculptural work, her watercolour paintings have influenced my sculptural pieces. Her piece ‘The Birth’ inspired the shaping of my ‘Venus’ sculptures as the woman is not sexualised in shape. The colour used in the painting is replicated in my sculptures and the bleeding technique used in the painting, letting the colour bleed to emanate the motion of texture of blood.

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