Your Body Of Work
Episode 168 · March 6th, 2021 · 34 mins 50 secs
About this Episode
As artists, we need ways to organize our work in our minds, on our websites or in our presentations. Where do logical connections exist and how can grouping certain pieces together aid in understanding them? Thinking of your output as “bodies of work” is a useful approach. But this is also one of those vague art terms that means different things to different people. What constitutes a body of work? How many pieces does it include? Is it the same as a series? Today we’ll be examining this term in the hopes of providing some insight into how it applies to your own work.
One way to think of a body of work is simply as a group of work that is cohesive or consistent in some way. There is some uniting factor, but the range of what that might be is wide. The term tends to be a broader or more open-ended term than the term, series. Bodies of work tend to evolve organically rather than being planned out with set parameters, as many series are. The term might be applied to all of an artist’s work in a particular medium, or done on an artist residency, or that explores a particular subject matter. A body of work can even mean the work done in an artist’s entire lifetime of creating.
For your own purposes, perhaps the easiest approach is to use the term “body of work” as a way of organizing and grouping what you create. It is a flexible term that can meet your own needs when designing a website, choosing work for an exhibit, or talking about your development as an artist in a talk or other presentation. Looking back at various bodies of work you have created can also give you a helpful sense of achievement and continuity in your art practice.
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