Rebecca Stevenson

My work is concerned with the visceral and the sensual. It draws upon anatomical drawing and botanical illustration, but occupies a liminal territory between scientific enquiry and the subjective, imaginary body. My recent work investigates the relationship between innocence, consumption and desire. In each piece, a sculpted animal is cut, manipulated and refigured. These interventions result in outbursts of colour and texture, twisting the material or "flesh" of the sculpture into forms resembling flowers or fruit. The object assumes a two-fold meaning; a split or double identity. From one angle the viewer sees a bouquet of roses, from another the head of a slaughtered calf. These interventions can be read as the expression of an impulse to "dress" or prettify, or as the breaking through or breaking out of an irrational, subconscious or chaotic element, like a wound or disease. My treatment of my subject, whether viewed as butchery or beautification, creates an undercurrent of disturbance in the work. Drawing on the traditions of vanitas and still life, my work explores the contradiction inherent in the "nature morte", in which transient everyday objects - bread, meat, flowers, fruit - are immortalised and elevated by the processes of art. Petals on the point of turning brown and dropping, fruit so ripe that it is just on the verge of rotting; captured and petrified, like a stuffed animal or a frozen bouquet. Art as a kind of pickling, s howing death and obscuring it - all at once. Using materials manipulated to resemble food- meat and marzipan, sugar and butter, offal and chocolate - the work explores ideas around pleasure and consumption, both visual and oral. . read full statement