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Jim Coverley

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People are ‘broken’; it happens to everyone at some quiet and discreet moment. It occurs in a blink of an eye, a moment of raw, irrepressible psychological destruction that happens so naturally it is hard to recognise: the loss of innocence. Life gains speed, becoming more complicated. The ramifications of understanding the meaning of being physically orientated and our dependency on it, which is not everlasting, are what drives personal anxieties and desires: desire, obsession, dissatisfaction and a ‘sense’ of significance and meaning is at the core of my art.

Being true to the material and the over riding concepts and expression are very important to me. The material chosen and every action taken to create the object is critical. I need to develop a bond and understanding with the original ‘skin’
before I can start to adjust them in any way. My work goes through very defined corporal processes to find a sense of significance, meaning and clarity. I transform objects of no real description into a form of complete distinction, although they are not born, there is a Right of Passage. I am moving found objects from comparative obscurity into the extra-ordinary. They start as blank ‘skins’, legacies of an unknown personal history. I embalm the objects with cuts
and folds to extract the ‘beauty’, I reconfigure, re-align and transform, finishing when satisfaction prevails.

What I call ‘the clash of body and soul’, so endemic in modern society, is of undeniable interest for me. Cosmetic surgery and the procedures used are as influencing as clothing fashions. The cut of the fabric, the extension of the human body through what ever means and the philosophy of Shelley’s Frankenstein story being like a continually ringing bell.

The cut does so much with such a simple action. Imagine people going under the knife to have plastic surgery to perfect themselves when they are in fact being covered in hairline scars making themselves perfectly imperfect; the search for physical beauty whilst, in fact, becoming more flawed! But in going through the trauma of such a process, it is akin to wearing the crown of thorns; suffering but bringing one closer to one’s soul. This is where the clash of body and soul is highlighted. The modern day personal battle ground. But no matter how much skill is used, a cut remains a glorified form of butchery. It is destructive, but like a person cutting their arm in search of empowerment, it creates a sense of awareness of body and life. The fold then holds a void and generates the new incarnation. It gives back some of what has
been taken away but can never hide the scars. A vision of idealised creation, like a child making a paper origami pyramid flower …spelling out
I love you.

My works are displayed like examples of artefacts/specimens of modern mythology. They are ‘hung,’ exposed naked on display, for all to see; witnessed like a mannequin in a shop window. They are made to be empty vessels, veneer’s or skins,
alluding to how the body is constructed and how the ‘environment’ affects them. Gravity is a vital tool, it’s pulling weight distorts the objects, sagging and stretching, folds, rips and wrinkles forming. The movement of materials throughout the operation, transforms , without adding or fully removing anything, creating the ‘vessel’. Elements reversing, inside to outside, exploring notions of attraction, repulsion, confession and fantasy.
Jim Coverley
Studio : Bow Arts Trust
183 Bow Road
E3 2SJ
United Kingdom


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