This poem was used by John Merrick in a pamphlet accompanying his freak show and later when he wrote to thank people for their generosity in caring for him.
Tis true my form is something odd.
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew,
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole,
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul,
The mind’s the standard of the man.
An illustrated essay which critiques how practitioners, including yourself, have addressed the issue of body image through socially engaged visual communication practice.
-To become familiar with the understanding of body image as it relates to art and to contemporary society
-To recognize a variety of underlying problems involved e.g., health, depression, media, envy…
My original plan was to explore body image and the issues individuals have with the undressed body. To study underlying concerns such as, obesity, anorexia, aging, pregnancy etc. and the impact media society has on the way individuals view themselves and cases leading to mental illness.
However after feeling uninspired, I feel I want to investigate these issues with a more personal perspective, rather than investigate the invisible and mental issues people deal with, I want to focus on famous cases of people living with extreme and unexplainable disfigurements which media have created a mythical persona for e.g. the world famous ‘elephant man’ and ‘turtle boy’.
Statement of Intent
I will investigate specific cases and consider how society has accepted or rejected them.
How individuals have been scrutinized and segregated from communities.
I will produce a series of images illustrating these subjects as glorified mythical creatures to create awareness of the prejudices they have endured and communicate the understanding of basic human rights and face equality.
I will also discuss social phobia and stereotyping e.g. film villains.
Disfigurement- A ‘disfigurement’ is the generic term for the aesthetic effect or visual impact of a scar, burn, mark, asymmetric or unusually shaped feature or texture of the skin on the face, hands or body.