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Second skin


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Humphries, Trudy 2004 , 'Second skin', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The project examines the textile component of surgical dressing - the
bandage. My search for the meaning of bandage has concentrated on
three main areas: the performance of care in relation to bandage, the
concept of bandage as a metaphor for healing, and bandage as an
object that signifies both absence and presence.
I found textile, with its capacity to convey meaning, to be the most
appropriate medium to make the intangible 'seen' or 'felt'. Bandage
has an alliance with the body where its ability to temporarily replace
skin, together with its ability to record, absorb and imprint from the
body, makes it suitable for the construction of bodily memory. These
characteristics have been deliberately intensified through the scale of
the artwork.
A survey of long-term wearers of bandage revealed an array of
personal thoughts and feelings of personal physical and emotional
conditions. The data provided the primary focus for the work. This
was further informed by a study of the history of bandage that revealed
a history shrouded within literature on ancient dressings and colonial
medicine - as well as those of textile and cultural origins. My bandages were created from gauze, cotton, linen, silk and hemp, as
well as many synthetic fabrics that were either woven or non-woven.
The fabrics have been dyed with natural dyes that I have extracted
from the bark of Tasmanian trees, and commercial synthetic dyes,
before being painted, stitched and sutured. They were then moulded
with glues and varnishes. In my interpretation of the bandage
experience, I have endeavoured to unravel the impalpable and
unseeable effects and implications of wearing bandage. I have
represented the effects as a void within each of the three dimensional
textile bandage husks. This space was created with the aim of allowing viewers time to reflect on their own experience of bandage as well as
the experience of others.
These textile wrappings are second skins, vessels of remembered
experience assembled in the format of a collection.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Humphries, Trudy
Keywords: Bandages and bandaging in art, Surgical dressings in art
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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