Reception: Jan. 14, 4-5:30 pm
Salt Lake City Main Library, Level 4
210 East 400 South
“I have decided to love my stomach.
The round curvaceous mound that I have carried with me.
As she gained inches through life, I chose to compress her under Spanx that were sizes too small. Form contouring tights hid under loose fitting jeans, leaving only gaps for breathe.
I am curious if she was telling me to take up space.
If my expanding waistline was yelling at me to grab at more area on this earth. To stretch the skin around me and claim for myself this slightly larger circumference of life.
I declare that my fat cells are my heroes.
The only ones in my body who owned up to the audacity of growth.
On days that I felt warms streams of tears crashing down red laced cheeks, it was my stomach who dared to push out. She heaved at skin and made tapestry of gashes where resistance was met.
I used to meet these gashes with superfluous amounts of coco butter and overpriced skin serums. Slathering my body so heavily that as I crawled in bed at night, I could simultaneously butter my sheets. Though these processes never once helped the state of my skin, that was not the matter. To me, it was the ritual of the creams, and the acknowledgment that I was vehemently in opposition to this appearance. I was the enemy of my body, and by what I have learned, I am only to assume this is the goal.
The goal that is,
to be standing atop a scale, face like a cherry tomato, eyes, avoiding the enticement of relief that the nearby toilet could offer. I counted calories and jotted down numbers in biblical importance. The goal, to stash half of my dinner under napkins, vigorously do jumping jacks behind bedroom door sanctuary. Guzzle water till stomach cramps made triumph to hunger pangs. My reality had turned into a lifestyle dominated by bodily brutality taking guise as health.
I cried once when I ate a chocolate bar.
I now see my stomach folds as skin reaching to lay soft kisses atop itself. My weight is my body holding me down to the earth, in an attempt to remind me that I am here.
My stomach is a formidable presence of self-care.”
Bea Hurd is a Salt Lake City based artist who studied Sculpture Intermedia at the University of Utah. After college, she went on to teach art at West Jordan High School, where she currently teaches. After realizing her devotion to materially based sculpture, Bea uses her practice as a way to meditate on what has her mind at any given moment.
Cycling in and out of “material romances”; Bea seeks materials to form relationships with and allow them to persuade her direction. As if it were the tango, a push and pull between her needs and that of the material is established. Often her work feels like being a contemporary anthropologist. When she wants to know about herself and the community, Bea looks at the materials frequently purchased, endorsed, and interacted with. Bea is most attracted to mass-produced consumer goods, finding that what we endlessly reproduce radiates the aura of the makers and consumers. She finds the most history in products of daily use. Those that are used, consumed, and disposed of read like newspaper of who brings such materials into and out of existence so quickly. When searching for explorations, Bea probes supermarkets and gas stations, thrift stores, and her kitchen, pining for materials she wants to understand differently. Knowing that a material intriguing enough to enchant her for months possesses within it a body of work.
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