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Exhibition: Maisie Cousins’s ‘grass, peonie, bum’ exhibition at TJ Boulting London

Text by CLOT Magazine

Nature is always beautiful and also disgusting

CLOT Magazine dropped by the exhibition of Maisie Cousins on its opening night. Cousins is a  young photographer exploring themes of power, femininity, nature, technology, the body and indulgence. Her approach as she states on her website to making art is hedonistic and self-satisfying.

Grass, peonie, bum,’ is a result of several year’s works coming to a climax in exploring nature and sexuality, providing the audience with a break from reality and an overall sensory experience with an installation created in collaboration with celebrity perfumer Azzi Glasser. Her approach to making images is hedonistic and performative as she explores topics such as sensuality, indulgence and body image. Maisie’s work comes from a desire to see femininity and sexuality in a positive and open way. 

Exploring these topics with honesty and humour, she hopes to create erotic and visceral work that challenges people and asks them to get involved. The work presents a very real approach to femininity; bodies sweat through the image, appearing gruesome yet seductive and repelling.

With liquids glimmering on the surface enclosing the female flesh, spilling over pink flowers and vibrant fruits, we become immersed with the images, imprisoned into the body itself. Through the explicit use of macro imagery, grass, peonie, bum is juicy, sticky and highly visceral, enhancing the fluidity of sex and gender. Maisie’s work actively responds to destructive images aiming to address the damaging misogynistic ideals of beauty.

By collaborating with Azzi Glasser, the work moves beyond the visual, where the sweet fixating scent of familiarity clings to your memory. The sense of smell is deeply connected to the unconscious and divorced from representation. Her visuals’ sheer opulence and materiality provoke all senses; soft touch, a sticky sound, divinely sweet, earthy scent, vivid textures and the vibrant fruits sit on the tip of the tongue. 

This was the artist’s first solo exhibition, co-curated alongside Mia Pfeiffer at TJ Boulting Gallery in May 2017. The exhibition runs until 24th June 2017

(Media courtesy of TJ Boulting and the artist)
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