Martha Bizimana

The gaze

Artist Statement

Water is life; our existence depends on it. In the Christian spiritual sense, water is used to cleanse someone’s sins against God. Historically, women and people of colour have been the subject of art, exploited by the male or colonial gaze. Similarly, religious structure is traditionally male dominated. By staring at the camera, I initiate an act of flipping the traditional relationship between the subject and the viewer in relation to art and religion. This intimate exchange of gazes, where ink moves across and engulfs the face, is confronting and questions these traditional roles.

Artwork Process

Numerous experiments with ink being dropped in water were filmed and edited. This final footage was projected on to the artists face in a pitch black room using a data projector and laptop. This process was filmed using a DSLR camera and tripod. Video editing software Premiere Pro was used to edit the final video: including colour correction, darkening areas behind the figure, adding sound effects and trimming and resizing the footage/sound. The final work is presented as a projection at 2 x 1.5 metres.

About the Artist

  • Name: Martha Bizimana
  • School: Yeronga State High School
  • Artwork: The gaze
  • Media: Single channel video, 4:3, 1:15 minutes, colour, sound

Upon completing secondary school, I intend to study Fine Art at university. I have a keen interest in photography, film and painting, and exploring representations of women and people of colour in my art.