Erika Norris holds an MA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths' College (University of London and LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore) and a BA from the Gallatin School of Independent Study at NYU. Her artwork explores our relationship with food and identity. While studying in Singapore, Erika participated in the 6th Tropical Lab and had a piece selected for the 2013 Best Picks: Painting/Mixed Media gallery for the International Emerging Artist Award. In 2014, she was a finalist in the Ryan James Fine Arts juried show and a graduate of the Artist Trust Professional Development Program. She has shown in Washington, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Inspired by a blend of personal experience, research, and everyday visual culture, my artwork investigates our relationship with food. As a woman, I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t on a diet or trying to control my body through my food choices. Food has always been my obsession and increasingly, a cultural one. It can be a reward, comfort, escape, or celebration while at the same time being a source of anxiety, shame, and confusion.
Desserts, sweets, and treats feature prominently in my art because of the dichotomies they evoke: desire and sacrifice, indulgence and guilt, good and bad. I bring out these contradictions in my work through the use of distortion, negative space, and scale. While I enjoy using all sorts of media to make my art, I find that colored pencil allows me to bring a detailed, layered, and delicate quality to my finished pieces.
In society, we often quote the old saying “you are what you eat,” which has led us to moralize our food and food choices. Through making my art, I am able to better understand my complicated feelings around food. We can explore so much of our desires, identity, and society through the lens of our eating habits and my artwork seeks to open a space for viewers to think about their own experiences with food.