Anne Shively

id • i • op • a • thy

Senior Project April 2013

Artist Statement

The main message I chose to communicate through my work is the beauty of natural anatomical variety. Human bodies are naturally prone to having different physical forms, and I wanted to reflect the subtle outward appearances created by flawed internal structures. id • i • op • a • thy simultaneously creates a dialogue between the canvas prints and sculpture, and between the exhibition and its audience through the use of space and content. Every person is a unique individual, complete with physical quirks and idiosyncrasies, and this theme is explored through the application of sculpture, paint, and photography. id • i • op • a • thy embraces my scoliosis, which is an abnormal, lateral curvature of the spine.


Diagnosed with scoliosis for over seven years, I wanted to reflect my personal experiences with the condition, while drawing attention to the beauty of a curved spine. I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis; the term idiopathy is used to describe any disease or condition with an unknown cause. The curvature of my spine is not necessarily outwardly noticeable, but does affect daily life. Part of the installation encourages a tactile interaction from the audience. This is due in part to the intimate nature of a physical examination, the means in which scoliosis is diagnosed. Mild cases of scoliosis often go unnoticed, and I want to draw attention to this hidden condition, encouraging those who interacted with id • i • op • a • thy to question their own quirks, physical or otherwise, that may be unacknowledged, unknown, or ignored.


id • i • op • a • thy can be broken down into two distinct elements: the sculpture and the photographs. The sculpture is constructed out of various gauges of wire, constructed to resemble a human spine afflicted with a mild case of scoliosis. The photographs depict three distinct models, one male and two female, who have spines and ribcages painted directly onto their backs. The sculpture is mounted on a pedestal to bring it level with the spines on the models. The photographs are nearly life size, printed onto canvas. The sculpture aspect of id • i • op • a • thy is meant to be hands-on, and gentle interactions with the sculpture is encouraged. The curves in the sculpture allow it to become dynamic, and its shape changes depending on the viewer’s position in relation to the sculpture and canvas prints. Depending on the angle, the sculpture appears to become straight or curved, corresponding to the canvas prints surrounding the pedestal.



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