My work uses the language of thick oil paint to describe the visceral and fleshy qualities of exposed, neglected, discarded, and partially consumed fruit as a representation of the vulnerable and uncontrollable physicality of the human body. As a human, it can often feel that your body is an external object that is not within your control; that your physical being is prison or an enemy that is unpredictable and susceptible to outside forces of evil, deception, and disease. Fruit is often used in connection, spanning back to biblical times, with women, their sins, and sexuality, as well as their ability to produce life. The term fleshy is used only to describe fruit and the human body, often women’s bodies, which are deemed “soft and thick” just like the tissue of a fruit. The work manifested through my own experiences with chronic pain, illness, and trauma, all of which appeared to act as a single malicious entity that threatened my physical being. It is through this experience that I began to examine bodily suffering and its inevitability.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ann Dawkins is an artist working in Louisville KY. She received her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2019 and her BFA from the University of Louisville in 2013. Until recently she was teaching Painting and Drawing at Oklahoma State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Ann’s work has been shown nationally, including exhibitions in Boston, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, and St. Louis. In 2015 she was the recipient of an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In the Spring of 2021, she had a solo exhibition entitled “Vulnerable Vessels” at Middle Georgia State University.
© Ann Dawkins