I recently had the pleasure of working with Casey Jenkins suturing her body for her art work: Broken and re-made, time stretches across my lives and my thighs piercing me with splendour. The video work she produced was part of the Pockmark Project produced by Liv_id. Casey’s work had an element of gentle beauty to it that I had not had the opportunity to experience for some time.
We spent a gentle morning of skin sewing in her home.The morning brought to mind thoughts of ‘women’s’ intimate or domestic space as a site of political contestation. Whilst we did not engage in a grandiose display of body modification, those moments of quietly sewing Casey’s body still occupied a space of resistance for me. Tracing the stretch marks on her hips and thighs reminded of me of growth and retraction, the movement of life lived in skin. It felt in such contrast to some of the more ‘violent’ or ‘forceful’ acts of piercing, cutting or ‘harming’ the body that I have been a part of. Pushing metal through skin is not always easy. The body is resilient and tough, it resists. But having enjoyed the peace found whilst gently stitching my own skin in performance I felt honoured to be able to share this peaceful action with another artist. A lot is said without words when we trust each other with our bodies. I also reflectively acknowledged that it was a moment of privilege that we could sit safely in her home and ritually embroidered her skin – such safety is not a privilege everyone has. Thanks so much to Casey for having me help her with this work, it was a beautiful.
The video work Casey produced for the Pockmark Project was showcased on selected tuk-tuk’s in Bangkok, Thailand and images of the work can be viewed on the Liv-id site via this link. More of Casey’s work can be found via this link.