Ape_Bleakney_'Thick Skin (Blu-Raspberry)', Screen Print, 12.5''x19'', 2018.jpg

Idiomatic (Body Series)


Series of screen printed illustrations created while on residency at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Scotland.

I spent a lot of time out of the country in 2018. When I travel, I only use my phone on wifi so am disconnected in a way I am not when at home in the US. This series grew out of the constant barrage of discouraging and alarming news alerts that would pop up on my phone whenever I reconnected - and also my own internal feelings of a strange disconnect, getting this news sporadically and from so far away. They are a highly topical series of screen prints surrounding social and political issues back home - 4 in total, printed in multiple color variations. From gun violence, mass shootings, police brutality, immigration raids and deportations, attacks on reproductive rights, lack of civil discourse, erosion of civil liberties - it feels like a never-ending onslaught.

With all the traveling this year, I was thinking a lot about language and idioms, phrases that often don’t translate easily. I was struck by how many bodily idioms felt overtly political and wanted to explore that further with anatomical diagrams, speaking to both our desire to dissect these complex issues and to the correlation to the actual bodies that are affected.


I’ve continued the series once back home in Cleveland: