Humans have an intimate connection to fabric. In fact, without it we would be naked. Outerwear, underwear, drapes and sheets all cover our bodies and our lives, keeping the private in and the body clothed, warm, and invisible. It is also a metaphor for the ‘stuff’ of the universe – the substrate in which existence takes place.
Flynn Grinnan’s work covers the body in fabric. Comprised of a series of life-size, large scale figure sculptures, the forms in FABRIC FLESH seem to emerge right from the ground they’re placed on. The abstracted surface of the form is enlivened by an intricate network of folds and lines of movement, yet the stillness of the posed body retains the feeling of a moment frozen in time. Active and delicate, Grinnan’s pieces are an eloquent expression of the human form – in fact they’re derived directly from it. They are not a representation.
Grinnan’s process stems from explorations covering and draping the human body in his earlier work, as seen in his April 2012 exhibition at Yellow Peril Gallery, BODY PRESENCE. Working with a series of dedicated models, Grinnan drapes fabric over their bodies, creates a mold of the fabric and casts a one-of-a-kind shell. The result is a stunning recreation of the covered body, casted in a neutral, crème-colored fabric. Creased and folded to perfection, each piece carries with it a nod to renaissance-era figure sculpture and fabric study while exhibiting a contemporary reading of the body – protected, hidden, even restrained by fabric.