Megan Conley – Artist Statement
As an artist, I am compelled to make work that explores issues of self-identity, born from my experiences dealing with facial and dental deformity and the ensuing correction process that has lasted ten years of my life–and is still ongoing. Currently, my mouth, chin, jaw and gums have twenty-five plates and screws that will keep everything intact for the rest of my life. The changes in the skull affect the material condition of the skin and reveal its plasticity. This allows me to think of the skin as a mutable surface, because of its ability to adjust and become manipulated. My skull has lived the life of two different people: one that once repulsed others and another that is now more desirable. I am compelled to make mixed media portrait installations, drawings, photographs and 3D printed portraiture that deal with the multiple mappings of identity and topographic contour lines that study the physical structure of the face.