Sarofim School of Fine Arts

Morgan Bailey

2012 B.F.A. with a focus in Painting

Inspired by biological curiosity and the narrative power of art, I strive to integrate scientific and artistic endeavors, which share the investigative powers of observation and evaluation. After experimentation with materials, I apply these powers as metaphors for personal, global and communal perspectives of disease and its spread. My work speaks of biological elements intertwined with cartographic references in a collaboration of seemingly unrelated ideas that form these mixed media paintings. Through the incorporation of several non-traditional materials, including glass, latex, string and glassine, an elemental tension arises that strikes a sense of unease mimicking the distress of the relationship between the body and disease. In Untitled I, II, IV, V and VI my manipulation of the materials creates a reference to disfigurement, infection and a general imperfection of human skin, which serves to increase anxiety in a culture obsessed with superficial beauty. In the mixed media installation Earth Tracks, I apply these same principles to the surface of the earth in order to connect the surface of the human skin to that of the earth.

As a biologist I investigate skin as a physical record for the spread of disease through both an individual and a population. As an artist, I fixate upon the stories left in the wake of a disease that are often recorded by one’s scars.  Through the communication between these two disciplines, I find that constant experimentation with interdisciplinary concepts and materials is crucial for an investigation of any larger conceptual agenda.