Dwayne Narainen

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition


I am someone that has been self-conscious about my own figure. Having a thin figure and a sunken chest (Pectus Excavatum) is something that has become more undesirable as I grew up. It led me to become more aware about the abnormalities in my body structure and my lack of weight. This body dysmorphia became predominant in the process of photographing myself as it forced me to look at myself more critically. However, a juxtaposing effect was created. It made me question how my body looked as there was beauty in the imperfection of It; thus, it has become the primary focus of my work.

My practice is a combination of photography, collage, and painting. Through photography I have created images that have been revolving off the fragility of my own body and have been emphasizing aspects that I am uncomfortable with. The body, when photographed, appeared to be tender and well curved which leads me to believe I am no more deformed. It creates a new self-image that is clashing with the already existing insecure image I have of myself.

Colour plays a significant role within my practice as it has been the primary way to influence the way the body is read. A red dominated image produces a raw and intense form in the body while one that is wrapped in deep greens and blues juxtapose the harshness of the warmer tones with its subtle nature. It creates a spectrum of not only colour, but one that ranges in emotion.

The materiality of the collage is something that has also influenced the way my work is read. I have explored various textured paper, from photographic paper to munken as these change the outcome of the images. An image that is clear becomes unrecognisable on white paper and munken while the body becomes solidified in place on photographic paper thus creating an interplay between the materials used and the body. 

My work is split into two pieces: One being a collage and another being a self-portrait in the form of a painting. While the collage depicts my body in its physical form, my self-portrait depicts only colour and no form. It is dominated by colours that are associated with flesh and the rawness of the body. My work in its entirety creates both an external and internal perspective of how I perceive my body and the emotions associated with it.

It made me question how my body looked as there was beauty in the imperfection of it.