Previous AA2A Artist

Francesca Steele

Project summary:

For my time with PCAD on the AA2A I intend to concentrate on a new project. My main concern is a year-long investigation into the female body and body perceptions; this will be contextualised through the unusual practice of female bodybuilding. During this investigation I am proposing to spend one year training in a bodybuilding programme, following a typical body building diet and exercise plan. I will chart my progress factually and personally; through data collection of bodily weight, fat mass, measurements, and changes in strength. I will record personal responses through multimedia (written, photographic, drawn and video) diaries. I aim to train to a standard to allow me enter and compete in national figure and physique competitions, performing as both a body builder and as an artist.

As an artist, the process of bodybuilding will act as a further facet to my practice. Allowing my body to become a vehicle to explore physical concerns in an impersonal, critical and artistic way. I hope to challenge stereotypical perceptions of ‘what is masculine’ and ‘what is feminine’ on a basic level. The project will produce process and practice based research and also a series of artworks, using themes of embodiment, mind over matter and the relationship symmetry has to beauty. I am particularly hoping to use the time on the AA2A scheme to be able to return to the more sculptural, object and form based elements of my work. This will aid my investigation and draw together the different strands of the project, whilst producing various outcomes from the intensive investigation.

'Francesca Steele and Manuel Vason Collaboration #1, Newcastle 2007 '
collaborative photography