Representation of the naked human form, in both the media and the arts, is rarely non-sexualised. The images of the bodies we are presented with are often unrepresentative and project outdated views of what it is to be male and what it is to be female. Fragments of the Physical reflects the artist's own catharsis of gender constraints and can be seen in the fluid forms in which Myles Pedlar’s subjects are moulded, in the way the body is made to seem infinite with unidentifiable beginnings and endings.
In this series, Pedlar has incorporated distortionary objects such as blown glass and mirrors to assist in abstracting forms to a deeper level and in so doing placing an emphasis on ambiguity and anonymity. Here, naked bodies appear as genderless objects, freed of objectification by removing and distorting those parts of the human form shrouded with sexual connotation and gender ideology. The facelessness of these forms allows the viewer to appreciate the power of flesh, so often criticized for not being what society expects and in so doing, neutralizes the anxiety of comparison.
The juxtaposition of beautifully smooth skin contorted into sometimes grotesque fragments speaks volumes on how the artist has viewed their own body. This timely work encompasses the new age thinking and ideologies of Millennials. We are beginning to understand that the binary we have been trapped within for so long is limiting and leads to many individuals feeling unrepresented and unwelcome in society.
For Pedlar photography is a medium of expressing the frustration of identity struggles and the dysmorphic attitudes we have when viewing our own physiques. Fragments of the Physical manages to project innocence within the photography of human forms so often tinged with sexuality. The intrigue felt when viewing these images distracts us from jumping to assign a gender, resulting in a refreshing appreciation of the marvellous vessel in which we carry our consciousness.
Through the abstraction of the human form, Myles Pedlar’s solo ‘Fragments of the Physical’ aims to give authentic, unconventional expression to contemporary issues of gender, sex and identity. These key themes are explored through the warping, abstraction and contortion of the photographic image and in turn draw attention to the emotional and physical complexities of gender identity.
This will be Myles Pedlar's first solo exhibition with FLG. Still emerging in their practice, Pedlar graduated with a Bachelor of Photography from RMIT University in 2015. Myles won the Photography Prize at Brunswick Street Gallery in 2015, and was the winner of the Southern Coast Art Prize in both 2013 and 2012. In 2015 their work was featured on the cover of Catalyst (issue 5, volume 7) RMIT's Student Magazine for their gender issue. Pedlar was selected to exhibit in Flinders Lane Gallery's Exploration 16 Exhibition for emerging and unsigned artists in June 2016.