Lydia Ahmed BA (Hons) Fine Art 2020
With the rise of the online realm and digital natives, the experience of art has invaded the home and surpassed the limitations of gallery walls and their ideologies. I found myself interested in the environment of uncertainty and circulation, navigating this through my work and becoming intrigued by the visual culture I was consuming. My work decontextualizes and creates new narratives, a key point in my process being splicing visual content from Playboy magazines and paintings iconic of high art, combining and confusing them, creating a new environment in which the crude images from Playboy and the elitist, esteemed paintings can be witnessed together in a light-hearted manner. The appropriative combination of mass culture and high art allows accessibility and inclusion to all audiences, with the digital collage processes that can be achieved inside any home with a laptop further enhancing this and emphasising the blurred role of the artist and how it is increasingly similar to the role of the prosumer.
Through placing my work online I encourage the circulation, uncertain of the many ways it has been downloaded, uploaded, remixed and repurposed. To explore the hidden journey my work goes on I began scanning, digitally editing and re-printing onto physical excerpts of the Playboy magazines, as well as collaging work onto the skin through the use of transfer paper, exploring the many ways I could digitally and physically manipulate the image and how when placed on the body it folds, contorts and becomes something else entirely mimicking images manoeuvring through the vacuous online realm, saturating and regenerating themselves. My work allows me to transform the material as well as the content, combining the iconography of Playboy with the iconographies of contemporary culture and led me to discover that there are not only divisions between high art and mass culture but divisions within the culture’s themselves.