Deanna Essam

My practice is central to a habit which I have struggled to part with for as long as I can remember. Onychophagia is the biological term for excessive nail-biting, and has been a problem in my life that has slowly become one of my biggest insecurities. Through realistic drawing, I am communicating to an audience the habit I have become ashamed of, by showcasing and drawing attention to parts of my body that I have always hidden from view. These drawings are traces of skin which have come away from the nail, and offer to the viewer a sense of my identity, as well as drawing attention to aspects of anxiety which some can find resonance with. What is produced, are bizarrely shaped forms which rely heavily on texture and detail to encapsulate my identity within them. By drawing these small skin fragments on larger scales, I am examining my body which are no longer a part of me, as they are discarded or left behind. They are traces of myself that are left elsewhere, but have allowed me to explore my unexplained habit.