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Angela Palmer
Head, 2004

Glass sculpture in acrylic case


Portraits: What you lookin' at?

Angela Palmer’s Head is an example of what Palmer has called one of the most objective forms of portraiture. Lacking recognisable characteristics, it displays the inner anatomical structure of the head. Floating in the glass chamber, the head possesses an ethereal quality; when it is viewed from above and to the side, the image seems to vanish. Palmer has stripped back the portrait, revealing the fundamental physical human form, reminiscent of a technical drawing found in a text book, reducing the complexities of self to scientific categorisations.

Mapping is at the core of Palmer’s art practice. She has used MRI, CT and other methods of scanning to develop a technique that allows her to present objects as three-dimensional drawings. These delicate sculptural drawings are created using multiple sheets of glass, onto which the artist engraves lines from MRI and CT scans.

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