– Cath Davies – Material Girl – Investigating embodiment and clothing


This was an amazing lecture, probably the best one that I had attended. Even though the lecture was about Cath Davis’s work she was able to make it relevant to us all. Cath spoke about her work and her process. She said that she starts with a single image (taken from the movie The Skin I Live In) and spirals out with investigation and research, then returns to that single image.

Her work on death, skin, bodies and fabric is really interesting. She talks about materiality, symbolism and representation. Materiality is fundamental. In your own work always have our filter on, what are the things that you naturally gravitate towards. Consider how you look at things as you might look at them through a lens, your own personal lens. Really examine and question what you are looing at.

Cath goes on to talk about looking at motifs and materiality in regards to her work the body, yet we can see how this might apply to our own practice. She talks about ‘Liminality’, and uses the analogy of stars dying but living on e.g. David Bowie.

Materials have meaning or at least they should – consider this in your work – what meaning might an audience/viewer apply to your choice of materials? We should examine photos of our work and try to really look at it and its texture and material.

Always come back to your chosen image/artist statement to avoid going off on a tangent and bringing yourself back. Look at other studies around your area. Come back to your work to look at it with fresh eyes, ask yourself what has changed in your perception.

Address and reflect upon form, texture and materials that nurture themes, motives or narratives.

Academic research nurtures creativity and helps you to articulate your work more eloquently.

This was the most inspirational lecture that I have had in University so far.