Graduating from Wimbledon College of Art in 2014, Mia Wilkinson now resides her practice in East London.
Obtaining inspiration from explicit niche-fetish online forums and social media accounts, Wilkinson uses the extreme body types explored and juxtaposes the female figures alongside one another in an aggressive, but playful and tangible narrative. Currently taking her sources from the bodies of female bodybuilders and SSBBW or squashers – a term used to describe a very overweight woman who are paid to eat or physically sit on a person for their own desires or sexual gratification – Wilkinson paints the women with a dark humour, underlying serious social issues within a media culture. From the classical female nude in art history, to issues of gender hierarchies within the Western world; ideas surrounding the use of the body and how modern society values and manipulates it are prominent ideas from Wilkinson’s paintings.
The women Wilkinson paint are ambiguous as well as androgynous to the viewer, uncertain of their sexual objectives or gender, yet both forms are using the identity of their bodies as a commodity, something of vital relevance to Wilkinson’s practise. The process of depicting the women begins with finding masses of imagery from Internet sites and collating body parts together. Line drawings are made of the collages and a composition of the background starts to emerge. Painting in oils, the canvas is primed a garish neon pink and the loopy, visceral paint brings life to the flesh with intense immediacy. Elements of the figures are scratched into or physically removed from the pallette, creating provocative censors. Genitalia and lips can be often seen as a gestural neon shadow, creating a wandering eye of something society sees as taboo. In a way this reflects the fact the the more Taboo something is, the more intriguing and provocative it becomes.
PLUS SIZE, Espacio Gallery London, 2016