Erica Eyres is interested in the human condition; through her drawings and videos she examines human nature, how we perceive others, how others perceive us and how we portray ourselves to others.
In stark ballpoint pen Eyres depicts disquieting female characters that self-consciously pose for the viewer in states of undress or contrived sexual poses; awkward, clumsy, vulnerable and bashful, their flaws and blemishes are openly on display. In each instance the viewer is persuaded to engage in the power games instigated in watching and being watched, though the experience is never wholly satisfying. Rather, through identification with the character, one is left with a sense of fracture, conscious of ones own flaws and deficiencies. As described in theories of The Uncanny, the viewer experiences both the familiar and the unfamiliar resulting in a sensation of cognitive dissonance whereby one simultaneously feels empathy and revulsion.
Similarly, in her videos, Eyres often borrows from the aesthetic and artificiality of low budget television or film. The addition of a psychological intricacy results in incongruous reactions in viewers, who express both repulsion and compassion towards the characters portrayed. In her video's it is Eyres who is the actor subjecting herself to the scrutiny of the viewer, however it is the viewers scrutiny of their own self-image that is reflected in her struggling characters; we recognise the fact that this self-image is not necessarily the same as that in which others perceive us.
The artist's videos and drawings are equally, and sometimes grotesquely, contrived; characteristics are exaggerated and physical attributes amplified in such a manner that the viewer is surprised to be led to any truth concerning human nature. Such is the insight and honesty that Eyres reveals.
Erica Eyres is a Canadian artist living in Glasgow; she graduated from the MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2004, having studied at the University of Manitoba and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2005 she was selected for newcontemporaries. Forthcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Kunsthaus Erfurt and No Borders (just News) at The Elektriciteitscentrale, European Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels, last year the artist had a two person exhibition with Marcel Dzama at The Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow and was included in Rythum Decay a group show at Akureyri Art Museum. Her work is in numerous private collections, including The Rubell Family Collection.