Thyme James is a Glasgow based inter-disciplinary artist. Her practice combines traditional notions of painting with film-making to explore her love of the female form. The act of painting oneself is a heavily charged gesture, used symbolically in high art, tradition and the great (male) artist but also as a transformative tool, using the body as a canvas. Thyme is interested in these symbolic and materialist qualities around paint, using it as a means for exploring women’s place within the arts, inclusivity, sexuality and object-hood within a digital era. Dominant themes within her work stem from gender theory and philosophical thought.
Untitled, first performed, 2017
This untitled performance depicts the aftermath and trauma one goes through as a result of rape and sexual violence, and vulnerability through means of live performance.
The performer enters the space, disrobing before taking position on a bedsheet, she sits with a washing basin between her legs. She begins washing her hands with blue paint from the basin, slowly, repeating and exaggerating the action over and over, a solemn and pained expression upon her face.
Repeatedly washing one’s hands demonstrates how the body still feels tainted after experiencing sexual violence, the feeling of being dirty due to the violation of one’s body. The act of dragging the paint across the skin and the visible traces that remain represents the memory of the feeling of being touched/grabbed/held.
How you made yourself in to a foreign object
The definition of a foreign object Is something that is in the body but does not belong there They weren’t foreign, I remember the feeling as I tried to pull away From the next town, It wasn’t right, what was put there I was left open, Broken by having been touched That was how, Another person became a foreign object.