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The multilayered Body Worlds by BORA
words by Nya Furber
Pauline Canaveso describes their artistic journey as 'multidimensional'; their techniques range from textiles, sculptures, painting and digital art. The multimedia approach Pauline takes to their art helps to 'dismantle and interrogate standards of beauty.' Scrolling through Pauline's portfolio will show you a lush, strange landscape of familiar things made unfamiliar: body parts are turned bright purple; proportions become skewed; skin meshes together with ribbon and hair. Pauline's work confronts the viewer with bodies that are surreal but beautiful, free from binary limitations on beauty.
We caught up with Pauline to uncover their multidimensional approach and personal intentions and inspirations:
STK Where are you from and where are you based?
Bora I am French, from a little village near Lyon. I currently live in Lyon.
STK Your work is very multimedia, moving through a lot of different techniques. How would you describe briefly what you are doing as an artist?
Bora I perceive my artistic journey as multidimensional, the fact that I explore different mediums happened unintentionally - out of curiosity - yet slowly all of them started to form a whole universe I never wished to divide. I let them be and exist, and transform freely. I guess my main focus is imagination invested as a form of activism, I believe in its power and fluidity.
STK How did you get into it initially?
Bora Art has always been a way to express myself since childhood - at that time it was not conscious, more instinctive I guess -, I felt puzzled from an early age because of life events. Art opened something, a sort of unlimited gate with a possibility to embrace who I am: sensations, joy, images, a strong panel of emotions to explore and led me to find other forms of expressions that became my main language. A second skin.
It’s always been with me, I carry it wherever I go, that makes it very intriguing. It is hard to identify what provokes it and how it flows. We constantly get stimulated by all of our senses. I'm trying to capture this with no censorship and follow my intuition without expecting to control the form of it. I surf on the possibilities and emotions I get to experience in my imagination and I dream and wish to share it with others.
STK We saw you playing a lot with body pieces, especially arms and feet are shown disproportionately. What's behind that?
Bora I am fascinated by bodies. What is disproportional? What are proportions? What defines them? Where are these norms from? I am really interested in distortion as a form of expression and truth. As a fat non-binary person, my body has often been perceived as “weird” or neglected, laughed at because of its appearance, that is a big part of my research I guess. I’m trying to dismantle and interrogate standards of beauty, its binarism, and heavy pressure on us constantly - it's violence. Our perception of beauty is very narrowed, I aim for fluidity and acceptance. The characters from my universe are free from these norms, they come as they feel, as they are.
STK How do your intentions as an artist relate to the multimedia disciplines you use?
Bora One doesn’t work without the other, they’re one. I guess the different mediums are vessels for the intentions to be shared, it constantly evolves and offers so many possibilities to transform, morph, create and expand. Each medium has its own shades and highlights the intentions in a unique way.
STK You work in both the physical world (sculpturing, painting) as well as in the digital realm (3D, sound). Does working in physical formats affect your creative process or intentions differently to working in digital formats?
I think the physical and digital worlds both benefit from the existence of each other. I do love them both, and even more when they cross-pollinate and mutate together in a very unique form. My main idea when I make art is to bridge them so they imprint each other, they’re interconnected.
For example, the way I sculpt in what we call “reality” is very similar to the way I sculpt in the digital realm. Our senses are not limited to our physical experience of “touch” or “vision”, that is very interesting to explore when creating textures digitally as an example.
"STUCK" comes from being stuck in the creative process while pursuing artistic projects. What are your ways to “unstuck” yourself, to find inspiration again as an artist?
I love this.
I spent many years fighting against what we call a writing block, putting so much pressure on myself, and often ending up very depressed for long periods of times waiting for the holy inspiration to come back to me. As if I lost everything, and became a dry shadow.
But then I understood that I am a human being after all and I am a small reflection of nature. We do have seasons, where we feel more prolific, seasons where we need to rest more. And battling against that is not the answer, let go is the key. And also, we change constantly. Writing this, I’m not gonna be the same person tomorrow. I guess accepting impermanence is so beautiful, because as we change, our way to create changes too. Transformation is a big part of my personal creative process, flowing with the external cycles and inner cycles.
Sometimes being stuck is so necessary, and it can also be a period of gestation where you are digesting what you planted before, waiting for it to sprout. Being stuck is part of the creative process.
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