Ana Bellan
Welcome to
Cormonery (...let your
heart be warned)
Welcome to Cormonery (… let your heart be warned) explores body image and the feminine experience through a dystopian cityscape. I am using printmaking, specifically copperplate intaglio, to create three 15” x 20” broad cityscapes and six 9” x 12” intimate scenes from the city. I explore themes such as gender roles, the feeling of being trapped, expectations and dangers for women. To do this, I use dark and disturbing imagery full of oddities and small details full of morbid humor that unfolds the longer a viewer looks.
Artist/Thesis Statement
In this work, Welcome to Cormonery ( … let your heart be warned), I am interested in exploring body image and the feminine experience through the lens of a dystopian cityscape. I create the fictional city of Cormonery, full of oddities and disturbing imagery, that emulates the reality of what women experience in our society today. My goal is to depict the intimate, sometimes disturbing, experiences that women go through trying to accept their bodies, or be accepted by society itself. I am also interested in exploring topics such as gender roles, the expectations and dangers for women and the concept of being trapped. I communicate these themes through dramatized, morbidly humorous scenes that explore figures and their environments. This is inspired by my own experience, research, science fiction/fantasy comics, cinema and literature. Two artists that inspire this work are Louise Bourgeois and Mikael Kihlman. Bourgeois’ prints is work that touches on womanhood and body image that avoids falling into the cliches of feminist body image work, which is what my intention is as well. I am avoiding these cliches by creating dystopian noir scenes that have underlying messages based on mine and people around me’s experiences. Kihlman creates beautiful prints of cityscapes that are as if the viewer can step in
and live inside them through many fine details and interesting perspectives. I hope to emulate this to create a tangible world for the viewer.
I am using printmaking — specifically intaglio plates, to build these images. This
medium is best suited to my project because of the fine details that can be achieved with an etching needle while also incorporating a certain grit of unpredictability as well as an industrial feel that a city has. I have created three 15” x 20” copper plates that will form a large cityscape. I use visual symbols to connect them in a way that leads the viewer's eye through the city streets.
For example, in the first city print there is a streetlight that the viewer follows to the second print, then a traffic light that they follow to the third. Additionally, I’ve created multiple 9” x 12” copper plates to give the viewer an intimate look into the feminine experience through depicting a variety of scenes from this dystopian city, such as inside a building, a close up on an interaction, etc. These allow me to touch on topics such as body dysmorphia while trying on clothes (Reflections Boutique), judgment around eating in public (Cold Caught Creamery), and the media's expectation for women to look a certain way (Cold Caught Co.). These smaller prints are held on a podium so the viewer will be in a position of power but also intimacy with the stories of these women. The podium also allows the viewer to flip through and make connections between those scenes and the larger cityscape.

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