Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eating disorder exhibit

I've always found visuals quite interesting and powerful in explaining people's thoughts and feelings.. Visuals have the ability to convey stories that are often times unspoken but shared by many. It's a useful outlet in providing the public and those close to us information on the inner struggles that many of us have felt and deal with on a continuous basis.

I remember reading about the exhibit "Eating Disorders in a Disordered Culture" in 2001 and thinking what a wonderful way to combine personal, historical, and public awareness to eating disorders. At the time, it was really the first of its kind on a large scale (billboards, exhibits, big displays) that I'd seen be so upfront about the startling facts of eating disorders.

Then today, I was reading through news articles and I came across this exhibit by Joy Christiansen Erb, a photographer and installation artist. Joy uses a mixed media of photography, embroidery, text, and objects like furniture in her artwork. In her "Family Gatherings," "Furniture Series," and "Hidden Secrets" artwork, she takes viewers on an inside journey through eating disorders, emphasizing the "elephant in the room" mentality and family intricacies.

image: Joy Christiansen Erb

I have not seen this exhibit in person, but it looks fascinating. I think the fact that it is interactive makes it all the more effective. There's just something about pulling out a drawer, opening a cabinet, trying to fit into a too small space that is quite powerful in showing not only the "secrecy" of eating disorders, but also the perspectives of individuals suffering or who have suffered. I encourage you to look through th ewebsite at the images. I think many of you will find them interesting. Joy does take the exhibit on tour, so if you're interested, it might be a good exhibit for a campus or an EDAW-related event.

Here's one reviewer's opinion of the exhibit.


elizabeth said...

how amazing. I love all the ideas and textures. I would love to see this in person. Thank you so much for sharing.

Tiptoe said...

Elizabeth, you're welcome. I hope one day both of us can see it.

Ai Lu said...

Wow! What powerful images. I love seeing when these issues are addressed by artists.
Ai Lu

Tiptoe said...

Ai lu, yes, totally agree with you!