Emily Jane Ashley

Emily Jane Ashley

The Ecstasy of Taboo 2012-2013

Cast and text piece

Cast: £150


Plymouth University, BA (Hons) FineArt 

What is obscenity? Throughout history our society has been shaped to think, act and communicate in a certain way that is deemed “acceptable”. As a nation we have deeply held and often  contradictory opinions around our taboos. In the 21st century obscenity may be tolerated in some contexts, but the level of acceptance varies enormously between different cultures. This series of work focuses on sex and sexuality, exploring my relationship with myself as a woman. It also looks at the relationships and links between sex and religion. I was inspired by Bernini’s controversial piece Ecstasy of SaintTeresa and by the way tolerance of obscenity has changed over the years. My aim is to challenge the way people interpret and react to work that may be considered unacceptable or indeed obscene, and to explore how setting impacts on this.


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