Undecided, Undetermined, Undefined

Like last semester, I am also creating a Sellotape sculpture of a human form to be displayed as part of The Defining Self Experience at my University 2nd Year Show, but also acts as the standalone artwork Undecided, Undetermined, Undefined.

 

I intended to make the figurative shape I wanted to last semester, but without the resources of a possible mannequin, it meant I had to create any bends in joints myself which was a challenge. However, this semester I had a historical fibre-glass mannequin that allowed me to Sellotape each part individually, meaning it was a lot easier to create a figure in a fetal position and as curled up as I envisioned.

The idea behind this Sellotape installation is to be a visual representative of the fact that in the four stages of embryonic development that takes place in weeks 1-6, you are just known as that - an embryo. Up until about week 7-8, both sexes have what is known as “genital ridge”, identical preliminary genitalia that will eventually differentiate into male and female genitalia. Around week 7, the Y chromosome signals to start making testosterone, which develops the male genitalia. This means that week 6 is the last time that we’re just classified as an embryo - with no more labels than that.

I wanted to represent the fact that we go from week 6 as being an embryo, to being dropped into a box of ‘labelisation’ that you cannot escape and just grows as you do. I also created a Sellotape 6-week old foetus enlarged to clearly see the details - you wouldn’t be able to see a to-scale speck, suspended over a life-size human and represent some kind of metaphorical box around it, to represent society and its restraints.