In her Symmetries series Catherine Heard uses traditional paper-cutting techniques to produce images of Cyclops and Conjoined Twins, juxtaposing the beauty of fine craft with abject imagery.
Catherine Heard’s work interrogates the histories of the science, medicine and the museum. Simultaneously attractive and repulsive, her works delve into primal anxieties about the body. Frequently, she uses traditional craft and historical techniques as foils for abject subject matter. Normally associated with perfection, symmetry is embedded in the human genome to such an extent that it is also expressed in a wide range of birth defects, including conjoined twins. Part of the fascination of the Symmetries series is their ambiguity. They are equally inspired by the beauty of the paper lace, the curiosity of the monstrous form, and the contradiction of using fine craftsmanship to depict abnormal bodies.
Heard’s work has been exhibited in France, Denmark, Mexico, Canada and the US. It is in the permanent collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Art Gallery of Kamloops and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.