Stef Will

Stef Will

• 10 April 2022

Mother Tongue

Just a quick note to make you aware of work currently on show at the James Hockey Gallery Farnham. This is an exhibition named ‘Mother Tongue’, curated by Dr Cheryl Yu (see next to my work below), open from today, 11th April to 3rd May 2022.

My contribution is the oil-stick paining ‘Unfolding’ (60 x 30in). The work explores the sense of self and identity in relation to embodied experience. With my medical background of being a doctor and via working at the interface of art and science, I examine the body through the clinical gaze.

‘Unfolding’ shows an appropriated, abstracted x-ray of an expecting mother. It’s an image that is not meant to be, as it’s contraindicated to expose pregnant women to x-ray irradiation. And yet, there it was – an anonymous x-ray that I came across on the internet and that became the inspiration and starting point for my monochrome oil painting ‘Unfolding’.

I am also interested in the relationship of matter and energy with regards to embodiment and embodied experience. The body’s energy field is known to expand more than three feet beyond the body’s surface, and interact, even merge, with surrounding fields. In ‘Unfolding’, the mother communicates non-verbally with her unborn baby via their innate energy fields – the ultimate ‘mother tongue’.