Damaris Athene’s painting based practice examines how digital technology is altering the world around us and affecting how we interact with each other and our own bodies.

Damaris Athene

This flattening and perfecting is interrogated through an exploration of corporeality and abstraction of the human form. Athene takes particular interest in the digitisation of female bodies and how ‘now we can digitise our dysmorphia by virtually modifying what we dislike, creating “perfect” selves’ Coy-Dibley.

Athene plays with the push and pull of seduction and disgust that Julia Kristeva speaks of in her writings on the abject, confronting our shared mortality and the notion of our bodies as pure matter.  Athene is interested in how this interacts with our digital world. Does our corporeality become more abject in contrast with digital perfection?

New work traverses the boundary between painting and sculpture while evoking an unnerving sense of the body. The smooth airbrushed surface tantalises, begging for your touch. Protrusions bulge underneath the soft membrane, recalling fat and folds of flesh. It entices yet disgusts, is beautiful yet grotesque. The abject body lurks beneath its digital surface.

Athene graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2015 with a BA(Hons) in Painting and was shortlisted for the Hans Brinker Painting Prize in Amsterdam in 2014 and for the Clyde & Co Art Award in 2015. In 2018 Athene was selected for the BEEP Painting Prize. In 2019 Athene held a solo show, ‘Cheer Up Love’, at Cambridge University.