The self gaze

Johanna Engström

Johanna Engström is an artist studying her final year of textile art at HDK-Valand. In her artistic practice she uses self-portrait to raise issues about how we as a society and individuals relate to our physical appearance. The exterior is a major focus and constitutes a central part of a person's identity. Through make up, social media filter and cosmetic surgery the appearance can always be altered and improved. How does social media affect the gaze we have upon ourselves? Is it possible to take a neutral stance on your appearance?

“The self gaze” consists of two weaves made in a digital jacquard loom. The starting point is a selfie that has been digitally altered and then woven by hand. In the images the subject is facing the viewer and you feel observed. The eyes have been repeated and altered in scale. The larger weave is made in two layers with a tear revealing the layer underneath. What is hiding there? The true self or something completely different?