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Jana Moser is a genderqueer artist based on the unceded lands of the Arakwal people of the Bundjalung nation. They work with oil, paper and clay in process based methods that expand pictorial and textual possibilities of abstraction. Their practice explores ideas of connectivity within nature that move through, in-between and outside of anthropocentric and binary perceptions of the world. Moser has exhibited in Melbourne AU, Leipzig DEU and the Northern Rivers AU.

This exhibition takes its title from the process of Cutaneous respiration or breathing through one’s skin, which is common among amphibians, sea creatures and insects. Working with the framework of queer ecology, Moser’s interest lies in the non-normative and expansive ways that non-humans survive, reproduce, make community and evolve. Queer ecology moves against dominant anthropocentrism and sees the world as a connecting web of species and environments.

Spiraling across the gallery space is a collection of drawings and creature-like clay objects, drawn from the forms and textures of plants, animals, fungi, water and rock bodies. Taking heed from nature’s spiral, Moser utilizes the motif as a pictorial and installation tool to echo the structure’s many iterations across the natural world and unify the body of work as a community. The spiral is here contemplated as a metaphor for personal evolution, as body, structure, growth, connection, movement, threshold, portal, exit, expansion and infinite.

skin breathing invites viewers to consider the non-human and look for them in the richly textured surfaces throughout the exhibition. Each layer of the drawings is based upon imagery of; sphagnum moss as seen under a microscope, the web of a golden orb spider, an alpine newt transforming in its egg, mollusc shells and satellite imagery of oceans, winds, blackholes and the far off whirlpool galaxy. Moser abstracts this source imagery through a process of layering oil pastel onto paper and etching back into the surface. The clay objects are similarly layered, shaped and etched into with reference to the soft bodies of gastropods, mangroves, volcanic rock, bivalves and basket fungus.

In threading together and abstracting organic forms and structures, Moser reimagines ecological interactions between terrestrial beings and the elemental forces of our universe. skin breathing positions the self as a student and centers non-humans as valuable teachers of creative and sustainable ways of being.

Jana Moser’s residency with El Sur is generously supported by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW's Small Projects Grant.

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