Talia Golchin | London, UK
My Name is Talia Golchin. I am a British-Iranian artist. I live and work in London. Today I’m going to present two series of artworks – ‘The Umbilics’ and ‘Euphoria’ – that are both focused on the body.
My artworks are usually associated with questions around ambiguity and unfamiliarity with my own female body. In Tehran, where I grew up as a young girl, I witnessed women pushing boundaries through clothing that revealed parts of their body as much as they could get away with. The female body was required to be wrapped with layers and layers of cloth to protect its sacred beauty from the male gaze. Going outside and seeing women covered up, I would notice the exposed body parts: feet, ankles, legs. This kind of bodily fragmentation sparked my curiosity. What if the body is just a body? Not a female body, not a male body: just a human body.
In this context, for the ‘Umbilics’ series I played with deconstructing the body into parts and reconfiguring it with interlocking curves. I arrange featureless rotund body parts in the confined space of the canvas using chalk pastels and oil paint as well as fabric, needle and thread and other materials. Through this process of dismantling and re-forming, piling and squeezing body parts I try to make sense of the feeling of being detached from my own body. It is a form of resistance against restriction and confinement.
Bodies are often depicted in both nude and colourful settings. By stretching hosiery over the canvas, I create structural curved lines with accidental rips and holes around and over the bodies. I have also made latex inflatable sculptures that reflect the light, playful and humorous nature of the bodies in the paintings.
I received a BA in fashion design from UCLAN and a MA in fine arts from Central Saint Martins in 2021. In December 2021 I was invited to take part in the female Bauhaus collective project and residency sponsored by La Prairie to work on a series of artworks on the theme of ‘The Pursuit Of Harmony’. This series consists of a selection of artworks made in an expansive range of mediums. Digital artworks will be exhibited in a unique virtual exhibition on laprairie.com while various sculptural forms will be exhibited in the La Prairie private Lounge at Art Basel.
‘Euphoria’ is a series of artworks that interprets through the theme of ‘The Pursuit Of Harmony’ through the female form. When I think about harmony, I recall a slow summer afternoon, lying on the floor of the bedroom. On my right side, large open windows face the garden and a slow breeze gently moves the white sheer curtains towards my face. My body is grounded and calm, absorbing the warmth from shards of sunshine through the window. My eyes follow the light and shadows moving around the room. My body is still, my mind is free and I feel energy running through me. I am in a state of complete harmony.
In ‘Euphoria’, I respond to harmony through synergy between the body, mind and nature. The shape of a circle represents the continuous and indestructible flow of energy between these three elements – and also the individual ‘cells’ that form the building blocks of the body. In the 3D animation, the spherical body is still, with circles circulating within and around the body in an energetic yet harmonious motion. Spheres, circles and curved forms are layered in various sculptural forms using transparent epoxy resin and plexiglass. The title ‘Euphoria’ describes harmony in the way I imagine: a feeling or state of intense happiness.
After a year of developing this concept and producing a range of artworks, I would welcome the opportunity to further explore this concept o a much larger scale.
To see the development of my project, please follow me on Instagram @taliagolchin