‘26 stitches’ was the title of a piece of work in my most recent solo exhibition at Annexe, an independent art space run by Galerie ViceVersa (2010) in the City of Lausanne, Switzerland. This wall piece constructed in leather in the shape of an oval portrait or mirror frame shows a nipple-areola reconstruction the way surgeons craft them by cutting, forming and stitching the human skin in such a way that the previously amputated body part will again appear as ‘natural’ as possible (Figure 1).
‘26 stitches’ reflects the way I approach other pieces of work. Rather than relying on books about reconstructive surgery, to inform the process of making I work with surgeons. Their rich accounts and the opportunity to observe some surgery have offered me unique insights into the physical aspect of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. These ideas continue to evolve through discussions with surgeons and patients who generously share their experiences. As a consequence I am able to continue to build on a body of work that has spanned the last fifteen years and that began in 1996 with ‘Body Pieces’ (Zellweger 1999) in expanded polystyrene.

extract from: Autobiographical Review by Christoph Zellweger, Sheffield Hallam University, UK


Craft Research
Volume 2
© 2011 Intellect Ltd The Portrait Section. English language. doi: 10.1386/crre.2.151_4

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