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I am fascinated by skin. Because skin — protective, fragile and strong — is such an indivisible part of being human. In life, like in the game, things come and go, but sometimes they leave marks behind. Our skin tells the stories of our lives. Like that time when a dangerously talented blocker once knocked me out of bounds.

This project began from a realisation: I wanted to capture the momentary marks, the bruises, that are seen in a completely different light in the mainstream culture than inside the subculture of derby players. That’s where my investigation of the psychology of bruises started.

For me, roller derby is really all about the community, and the mesmerizing subculture that has sprung from it. If a derby player gets hit in the game, she wants to show her bruised bum for her team members on the side of the track (and then reach some well-deserved admiration on the internet). These bruises are called derby kisses — kisses from derby. They are little love bites and badges of honour.

Each of my gigantic 3D artworks is based on a real photograph. ”I have a really beautiful bruise on my bum. Do you want to see a pic?” A friend once posted on my FB wall. ”It has 12 colors and is the size of my head.” I said yes, I definitely want to have a look. She sent it to my inbox. It turned out to be at least as impressive as she had threatened. In the end, this comment of hers also became the name of the work.

These days, derby girls from around the world send me photos of their trophies. I am deeply honoured to be able to turn some of them into art.

Recreating a derby kiss, I use wood, MDF, leather, glitter, and various tools from paintbrushes to jigsaw pieces. I need to break the surface of the leather, then paint it, then break it and paint it again — and repeat the process dozens of times in order to create a picture, as hypnotising on canvas as on the skin.

Through making artworks of large scale, with a remarkable amount of sparkle, glitter and colour, I objectify the girls completely, but in the same way as they objectify themselves. With the kitsch, tacky, thoroughly questionable elegance, my aim is to capture the unapologetic representation of beauty that roller derby is all about.

The colours of these bruises alter from light green to all imaginable shades of purple. Their psychedelic figures are capable of taking forms as mystical as the clouds, pictured for centuries in art.

I want to help people find beauty in the unexpected like in bruises the size of a head and of twelve different colours.

Roller Derby Kisses

Fresh Meat in Fishnets!, 2015, Acrylic paint and glitter on leather and MDF, 210 x 220 x 20 cm

Roller_Derby_Kisses-LEP9158-8bit

You See, Honey, Sometimes When Mommy Gets Tired of Suburbia She Dresses Up and Beats Up Other Mommies. And, Sometimes, When Other Mommies Are Tired of Your Mommy, They Beat Her Until She Scars in Geometric Patterns., 2016, Acrylic on MDF and leather, 115 x 180 x 15 cm

#thestrugle small

#thestruggle #datassdoe #forrealassfordays #derbykiss, Acrylic and glitter on MDF and leather, 2016, 102 x 150 x 14 cm

good god, small

Good God! (To the Bruise and the Booty) Way to Go Out with a Bang!, 2015, Acrylic on MDF and leather, 115 x 180 x 15 cm

Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet! #derbybruise #ouch #hematoma, 2015, Acrylic and glitter on MDF and leather, 89 x 145  x 9 cm

Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet! #derbybruise #ouch #hematoma, 2015, Acrylic and glitter on MDF and leather, 89 x 145 x 9 cm

Roller Derby Kisses

I Got a Really Beautiful Bruise on My Bum, Do You Want To See a Pic It Has 12 Colours And Is the Size of My Head!, 2015, Acrylic on leather and MDF, 100 x 150 x 9 cm

OMG, UK made in UK

OMG, UK Made in UK, 2015, Acrylic on MDF and leather, 110 x 170 x 14 cm

<gasp> Oh Lord. Is That the One That Looks Suspiciously Like My Wheel?! God, I’m Sorry to Have Marked You So :( … Um, Think of It as a Love Bite? xx, 2015, Acrylic paint on leather and MDF, 72 x 110  x 7 cm

Oh Lord. Is That the One That Looks Suspiciously Like My Wheel?! God, I’m Sorry to Have Marked You So 😦 … Um, Think of It as a Love Bite? xx, 2015, Acrylic paint on leather and MDF, 72 x 110 x 7 cm

Little scratch (kopio)

A Little Scratch Developed Into This Motherf**ker!, 2015, Acrylic on leather and MDF, 90 x 90 x 7 cm

wait long enough and someone will find a picture of Jesus in that bruise!small (kopio)

Wait Long Enough and Someone Will Find a Picture of Jesus in That Bruise!, 2014, Oil on canvas, 175 x 125 cm

Fifty Shades of Purple, 2014, Oil on canvas, 125 x 100 cm

Fifty Shades of Purple, 2014, Oil on canvas, 125 x 100 cm