Ashleigh Jerman

The body, written as a simple definition, is our physical structure and my interest in making art that surrounds this idea stems from observing and noticing the sexualisation of the human form, particularly when concerning the stereotypically feminine. Using slightly cliché visual elements which allude to the erotic, and a conceptual element that is concerned with the theme of being naked as opposed to being ‘nude’, I have been seeking to discover what it is about an image that creates said eroticism and how this often relates a subject to it’s sexuality and separates it from the more basic concept of ‘structure’. This exploration has mainly evolved through changing the setting of the photograph, distorting saturation and alternating the subject of the photo to see which images ‘feel’ sexual. This practice finds itself exploring the ways that images can highlight vulnerability and awkwardness when concerned with the erotic, and I am attempting to decipher which images more successfully avoid this and present the female ‘form’ as something far more diversely functional. Through photography I seek the visual validation of a complex reality by creating an image that exists in a gray area that is a balanced presentation of the functions of the female body, as structural and simple, as complicated and sexual and vice versa.

When all of this is placed into the exhibition space, I am interested in the way in which images make people react, which ones appear to present something of a sexual nature and which ones do not. The way that people ‘view’ these images and respond to them is important to the practice, therefore, by using the spacial void of the internet, a space that hosts pornography and sexually exlicit pop ups, the work as a whole is blurring the lines between public and private viewing since it is a virtual gallery space and creating a void of recpetion. Therefore, we explore an alternative boundary of observing sexuality and the female form because each viewer’s experience is wholly private and pluralist yet the virtual gallery imitates a public space and elements of its rituals, altogether adding to the sought after neutrality of sexually provocative images.