Tamara Wyndham — painting, performance

Contact prints of the body have a tradition in sacred arts, often functioning as evidence of the physical existence of divine or holy persons. We know the Shroud of Turin, the footprints of Buddha and Mohammed, prehistoric cave hand prints, and the thumb print signature. The message of the hand print, foot print, or body print is “I was here”. There is also a sense of a straightforward image not interpreted by the artist’s imagination: a direct impression.

The process of making the work involves one or more actual contact body prints. I put paint on the model’s body, and press it onto a surface. Then I paint color around it and in layers over it, working further with brushes, my fingers, airbrush, and splattered painting techniques. The layers, adding both physical and metaphorical substance, enhance the original print, as well as building up a glow, so that the aura becomes luminous.