This episode of Knowing Animals features lynn mowson. Lynn has a PhD in fine arts. Lynn helps manage the University of Melbourne’s Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network (HRAE). She also runs their monthly ‘Knowing Animals’ reading group and is Vice Chair of AASA. We discuss lynn’s new book chapter. The chapter is titled ‘Making and Unmaking Mammalian Bodies: Sculptural Practices as Traumatic Testimony’. That chapter will appear in the upcoming book ‘Animaladies’ which is co-edited by Lori Gruen and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey.
Just finished up an article writing about my propositional large scale installation. One day I hope to install it – but it requires a lot of wall and ceiling space.
Abstract: This paper outlines my current sculptural research project in which the lives and deaths of dairy cows are entangled with multiple biotechnologies. My propositional sculptural installation brings together extant works such as fleshlumps, boobscape and slink, and new works, to represent the dairy industry, multi species nurturing, the environmental impacts of animal agriculture and the biotech innovations of in-vitro meat and bio-fabricated leather. These works are linked together by a web of interconnected fluids; urine, milk and blood. In this new work I hope to make the links between the diary industry and these extended concerns visible and visceral.
Top row left to right: meat flaps, wax, pigment, hoop. hairy hoop latex, hair, hoop. little hoop, latex and hoop. hairy hoop II, latex, hair, hoop. leaky hoop, latex, string, hoop. battle of the cxxt (under my skin), newspaper clippings from 16/17 June 2018, latex
A number of small works made for the vulva project, curated by Rebeka Axon. meat flaps is made from previous fleshlumps. The latex vulvas are made from boobscape udder pieces. battle of the cxxt (under my skin) was made in response to the recent rape and death in Melbourne, and the surrounding debates about women’s freedom of movement, men’s curfews etc. The text was deliberately taken from other headlines from the weekends paper, with only one clipping referencing the actual incident. It is a low tech cut and paste, embedded in a latex skin, as the latex ages and yellows the words will be obscured.
Contributors: Rebeka Axon, lynn mowson, Rosa Voto Ustrale, Alessandra Barone, Fiona Haasz, Jessica Lovell, Kaitlyn Elsegood
This project brings together a group of woman who have stitched, sculptured, drawn, collected and shared stories of vulvas; stories which are personal, social, humorous, cultural, historical and deeply political.
The initial framework, so to speak, was the embroidery hoop; using any media the artists were to constrain their works to this object. The hoop functions as an homage to the ‘craft’ of feminist art practices, crafty women, sewing circles and female spaces. The hoop served to keep us centred, to circulate our thinking, as we met to laugh, drink, eat and discuss our feminist foremothers, contemporary body art, blogs, sites, words, language and performance.
As these discussions spiraled outwards the hoop has, for some, been discarded as a physical object, however it has remained our collaborative methodology.
Presented by the launching pad, 781 High Street, Thornbury.
Gallery open 30th June to 22nd July, Fri, Sat, Sun – 11.00am-4.00pm
My new work is focusing on the relationships between the dairy industry (boobscape), the collection of ‘co-products’ such as foetal-bovine serum, placental tissues, slink leather from foetal bodies (slink), the demand of these foetal tissue and blood products in cellular technology in particular in-vitro meat and bio-fabricated leather. Using my pre-existing sculptures, and new forms, I will trace the connections between these industries, as well as continue my focus on the broader environmental impact of the dairy industry, in particular the leaching of excess nutrients into the waterways/water table.
Just started work on re-purposing some existing sculptures. Using the skins from boobscape – inverting breasts and teats, to create some small wall sculptures for the Vulva Project, curated by artist Rebeka Axon. It’s an interesting process, and very much a homage to those feminist precursors – it’s been almost 30 years since I first started teaching visual art / art history – and I remember the difficulties (pre-internet) of finding and incorporating the ‘cunt art’ of the 1970s such as the amazing Hannah Wilke’s – S.O.S. – Starification Object Series. 1974-82, and of course Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party.
Using the skins from these works, for me, brings the material meanings of slink and boobscape into this work, and further entangles those maternal material bodies.