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A printmaker's progress

The Body Speaks – while I’ve been silent


It’s been a long time since my last post, the better part of a year. In that time I have sold a house, gone on my first cruise ever and put together another solo show. I could write long posts on each one of these things but I’ll keep to the art news here.

Body Of Work 1 & 2

As my post title indicates, my new show is titled The Body Speaks, and it is one in which I continue my fascination with the human figure and how we relate and respond to its myriad expressions. What began as a study of human relationships soon expanded into a look at out how our bodies have a language all of their own and how readily and instinctually we read and respond to each other’s gestures and postures. Below is a discussion of the works in the show.

The titles of two of the pieces in the show, Body of Work 1 – In Her Eyes and Body Of Work 2 – Mirror, Mirror, depict a collage of a body of work from two previous shows, ones in which I used images of the human body to communicate with my audience. The images moreover are laid out in a linear, foreshortened manner to allude to the way artworks are placed and viewed along a wall in a gallery. These two works, along with a third, entitled Puppet Master, which contains a multitude of prints hanging on strings from a bamboo crossbeam, illustrate the role of the artist as facilitator, with his ability to direct the viewer’s attention, influence his emotional response and generate a dialogue between people.

Several of the works in the show highlight the intensity and eloquence of the eyes and hands, our most expressive features.  A pair of faces contrasts the promise of youth with the sageness of maturity, yet expresses a fiery spirit and strength of character that defies age. Hands caressing a lover’s body speak of passion and tenderness. A woman grabs her hair enigmatically, a man’s heart is seen in his bruised face, and another’s reclining on a bed.

Close-ups of other body parts give us enigmatic glimpses into the human condition. Bare feet amongst rubble and broken glass express a forlorn vulnerability. A bared back morphing into a tree trunk while an outstretched arm touches a stone wall evokes a sense of connectedness, strength and inner harmony.

Images of people together, whether touching or apart, reflect the bonds and boundaries of their relationships. The closeness of friends, embrace of expectant parents, the mirrored movements of mother and child, a lover’s gaze – all speak volumes without words.

A number of works illustrate the dichotomy of the more impersonal, yet strangely intimate, world of social media and smart phones, wherein our connections have taken on an ephemeral and intangible quality that is redefining human interaction. Photographs and video are superseding direct interaction while taking on key roles in the development of our online personas and avatars. The works in this show, by their own nature as photopolymer gravure etchings based on photographic imagery, illustrate this vividly.

All in all, the works express a wide range of human emotion and experience that I hope resonates with and engages the viewer.  Whatever else the images may express, the connections made between model, photographer and viewer remain an underlining current in every work.

More images of the works in the show can be found here: (Click on slideshow for a larger view)

A video of the show by Exhibit-V can be seen here:

If you are in town please drop by and check out the artwork.

The show runs until June 9 at Collective Works Gallery, Victoria, BC, open Tues to Sun, 12-6pm

Author: chiaink

World travelled yet never weary, eloquent and evocative, Chiarina's artworks sing with a sensitive and sensuous spirit.

15 thoughts on “The Body Speaks – while I’ve been silent

  1. I am interested in the idea that the body and the ‘I’ are different. What is the ‘I’ that is different or more than the body? Not the soul surely? or the mind?

    • Thanks for the thought provoking comment, Andy.
      I think the body can be the physical manifestation of our minds and hearts, an outward expression of our inner life which speaks loudly despite any attempts at restraint. Even an awesome poker face speaks volumes about one’s self control. 🙂
      It is through the mind and body that our soul, whatever you hold that to be, can find expression in this physical world.


      ps, enjoying reading through your blog.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post Chiarina, Շɧαɳӄ ў☼ʊ 🙂

  3. Chiarina I was deleting emails when I saw this one about your post. I am so glad I followed through and came by to see the images of your new solo show. As usual, the depth and emotion of your work is impressive. Congratulations! Terrill

    • Thanks so much, Terrill. I really enjoyed exploring the theme and doing these works. Every body of work I do seems to germinate new ideas and some were a stretch in exciting new directions.
      I’m so glad you commented here for I’ve had a look at your site, hadn’t visited in a while, and OMG, I love your new work. Such richness and exquisite beauty. May be just the reason for a vist to Mayne Island. I’m away the first week of July but would love to come out to see your work. When is your show on till?

  4. The show at the Oceanwood Resort is up until July 27th. I was thinking I would have liked to come and see your work before it came down as well but not sure I can make it before June 9th. Will you have some of this work showing again in another location?

    And if you come to Mayne Island, it would be grand to personally meet you and take you through the show. Please just email in advance or call in advance.

    • Most of the work will be coming back to my studio for the time being, which you can visit at any time. i hope to show it elsewhere at some point.

      So great, I’ll let you know when I can make it out to Mayne island. It will be lovely to meet you in person.

      Cheers and best with the show,

  5. Thank you and possibly later in the summer I can make arrangements to come by your studio for tour as well. I look forward to meeting you if all comes together to make it happen.

  6. Thank you for the articulate, thoughtful discussion of your process, vision, work, as well as the stunning pieces. Of course, I am very interested in and inspired by your theme of exploring how the body communicates, expresses….

    Your creations trigger a very deep, visceral reaction in me. I need to ruminate about it more before I can describe it. For now, suffice it to say, I love your work. It intrigues, comforts and entrances. Thank you. xo

    • Your comments always humble me. So happy you connect with my art on such a deep level, there is no better compliment for it. Cheers and look forward to your ruminations. xo

      • I’ve got it! Or the beginnings, anyway, of describing what your works inspires. The richness of color and texture, the complexity offer a sense of history and of movement. I liken it to why I love watching “mature” dancers and actors perform. Their bodies resonate with the tapestry of their life and kinesthetic experience. Your work creates a similarly rich experience without being heavy-handed–it all seems organic and effortless (so difficult to achieve!). Love that! Yay you. xo

        • I like that “the complexity offer a sense of history and of movement”, thank you. I do try to achieve a sense of timelessness in my work while keeping it intimate and present. If it appears effortless it is probably because I try to just let it happen intuitively every step of the way. Often I myself am surprised at the end results! Thank you for your continued support! cheers! xo

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