Chrissy Brown is a South African/ British sculptor. She sometimes refers to herself as a mud witch.
She lives in Essex with her cat.
“My work is inspired by a lifetime of living in a body that I’ve been told isn’t worthy of acceptance, respect, or love – an experience shared with countless groups of people for a myriad of reasons. We differ from the norm and therefore we are a target.
I’ve experienced this through the lense of several different cultures, having had a very global upbringing, and each has brought with it lasting changes to my sense of self and added a vibrancy to my artistic expression.
I want to capture the moments of awkward or peaceful reattachment to our bodies that we experience after having our ‘selves’ ripped from it by mainstream society.
We’re shamed for being as we are by adverts shouting from the sides of buses and have our self-esteem relentlessly pummeled by magazines (and everyone who reads them!) or tv – screaming at us to lose weight, be younger, be prettier, be feminine, small, well-packaged, consumable.
My body does not belong to other people, despite what they might think. My body is my home and has survived countless invasions: advertising executives, doctors, ‘friends’, dietitians, concerned family, lovers who hated me, abusers who used me.
I have to reattach myself to the world every day, and part of that comes through accepting my body as it is now. No changes need to be made for me to exist and because of that I already fulfill the criteria for being worthy of taking up my space, just by existing.
Nobody can sell us our worth, only reminders of it. Only symbols of it that we can wear or keep or touch to bring us back when we are made to doubt it. My offering is that I can build iterations of this strength-through-mere-existence. My pieces are markers, stop signs, moments of reattachment-to-self, or seeing through a different lens.
They aren’t fertility figures in the traditional sense (although the inspiration is pretty clear) but they are ‘fertile’ with resistance and resilience.”
Your body does not belong to others. You already have everything you need to justify your existence.