This exhibition features installations of miniature padded paintings and digitally created wallpaper. Athene is interested in how digital technology is altering the world around us and affecting how we interact with each other and our own bodies. Flattening and perfecting is interrogated through an exploration of corporeality and abstraction of the human form. Athene takes particular interest in the digitisation of female bodies and how ‘now we can digitise our dysmorphia by virtually modifying what we dislike, creating “perfect” selves’ Coy-Dibley.
These padded paintings traverse the boundary between painting and sculpture while evoking an unnerving sense of the body. The smooth airbrushed surface tantalises, begging for your touch. Protrusions bulge underneath the soft membrane, recalling fat and folds of flesh. It entices yet disgusts, is beautiful yet grotesque. The abject body lurks beneath its digital surface. This exhibition presents suspended double-sided padded paintings for the first time.
Working digitally is a new departure for Athene. The wallpaper has been created with photographs of the artist’s body performing in the snow with larger padded paintings. These photographs have been digitally manipulated and layered, sometimes to the point of becoming unrecognisable. This sensory confusion and distortion seeks to interrogate the boundaries between fake and real, physical and digital, and the constant regurgitation of imagery we experience in our digitised lives.
‘I Wish I Was As Hot As My Memoji’ takes its title from a thought Athene had when creating a Memoji on her iPhone. It highlights the unobtainable notions of beauty we are often aspiring to.
Damaris Athene graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2015 with a BA (Hons) in Painting and was shortlisted for the Hans Brinker Painting Prize in Amsterdam in 2014 and for the Clyde & Co. Art Award in 2015.
In 2018 Athene was selected for the BEEP Painting Prize. In 2019 Athene held a solo show, ‘Cheer Up Love’, at Cambridge University. Athene has been a studio artist at Wysing Arts Centre since 2018.