Joy Parker
About Me

Bio: My art derives from an interrogation of complex relationships that shape our identity, such as our relationship to the built environment, or to the construct of gender and gender roles. Currently I am engaging with the relationship between the self and family history, in particular through research into the life of my grandmother who spent 45 years in Bristol Lunatic Asylum. I deploy a range of mediums, seeking the most appropriate to my subject matter, and working in collaboration when this extends my practice. It is when the medium itself becomes integral to the subject, that the work is most successful. For example, I used collage in a recent series Case Notes which inscribed the often striking words from my grandmother’s medical case notes on a delicate female body. The words at times defined her and at other times appeared to liberate her, but in the end what remained were only paper cut outs. Likewise I put on a performance Gertrude at Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, as this enabled me to combine archive film footage and old photographs with my own person as a living performer, thereby creating a dialectical relationship between my grandmother and myself, the past and the present, the artist and the subject. Often my work is personal, but I aim for it to have a wider social significance. I offer workshops to the wider community.