28 Aug – 14 Nov 2023
theDock Centre for Social Impact
300-722 Cormorant St, Victoria, BC
About the Artist:
Kyndra Burton is an emerging Canadian interdisciplinary artist living and working in Victoria, British Columbia on the lək̓ ʷəŋən territory. She holds a BFA in Visual Art (honours) with distinction at the University of Victoria. She often works with video performances, photography and textile that explore the relationships, love, hardships and complexities of the feminine bodily experience. Her work has recently been shown in group exhibitions Don’t need to know to feel it, the 2023 graduating exhibition in the University of Victoria Visual Arts building, Killjoys: An Art Show at the Audain Gallery and TART: a contemporary study of the domestic woman at The Vault Gallery in Victoria, BC.
The Social Determinants of Health, 2021-2022, explores women’s identities through the lens of what medical professionals call the social determinants of health. The work includes six hospital gowns, hand-sewn by my mother and treated with photosensitive cyanotype chemicals. Each gown has personal and medical information collected from my mother, younger sister, maternal grandmother, aunt, cousin-in-law, and paternal grandmother printed on them.
The social determinants of health are external and internal factors that professionals have determined to influence overall health. In a practical hospital setting, a list of these questions is asked of the patient to assess risk. While this practice is fairly new, the invasive medical questioning of women proves its persistence. Four of the six subjects featured work in the medical field, and take part in the questioning as much as they endure it themselves. The grey area between ethical and invasive, confidence and exposure, and observation and privacy were the main drivers for the work.
The hospital gowns resist the urge to fabricate emotional visuals and instead opt for text-based data. By displaying the data on the gowns, I have given the subjects an unbiased voice, while simultaneously stripping away their privacy. The work attempts to destigmatize women’s health while uncovering the invasive nature of medical questions women are pressured to answer throughout their lives.