Teffany Thiedeman, Emerging Bird. Photo: Supplied

Integument

The human integument is skin and is the largest organ of our bodies. It is a membrane that contains and defines us, also becoming hair, nails and teeth. In other animals this layer may be fur, feathers, scales or horn.

The word ‘integument’ is rich in metaphorical possibilities; to cover and to be integral. It is this zone of covering which is the investigation of this exhibition. Drawing upon stories and myths of humans becoming animals and animals becoming humans, an exchange of the integument, Teffany constructs ceramic figures rich with the textural marks of fur, feather and scales.

In these works clay is manipulated to form a variety of surfaces weaving together forms like mermaids, bird-men and selkies. They are often combined with found objects to make figures which slightly disturb and express the anxiety and discomfort we so often feel in our own skins.