Artist sticks tongue out at traditional methods

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Artist sticks tongue out at traditional methods

Second-year Mount Allison University student London Silver is experimenting with a new method of putting paint to canvas.  It's with her tongue.

She got the idea after using her body to make prints, and deciding to take it one step further.

"I've been interested in the artist's physical contact with their work and a lot of my work is about self-portraiture and my relationship with my body," she said. "So this is my way of taking it to the next level and licking the paint on to the canvas."

Her painting instructor, Jon Claytor, said there were issues after initially talking with his student about her new method.

"I first was concerned with her poisoning herself, so we talked with some of the different things she could try and she came up with some good solutions that definitely seemed to be safe," he said.

Uses own paint recipe

Silver experimented before coming up with her current recipe of flour, water, sugar and food colouring.

"When I used the non-toxic toddler paint that is meant to be able to be eaten, it made my entire mouth go numb and it was (a) horrific taste so I decided to make my own," she said.

But even if her paint isn't toxic, she doesn't find it delicious. "It tastes like a really bland scone."

Her canvas isn't hung on a stretcher or easel. Instead she spreads it out on the floor, and applies the paint to her tongue with her fingers.

"It starts to be a little bit like having a cat lick your hand," she said.

Fellow student Braden Chetwynd first heard about Silver's bodily paint brush during discussions in class.

"I thought it was something interesting definitely, picking up on some other things that she had done," he said.

Silver's class has a year-end exhibit on at Thunder & Lightning in Sackville. The paintings will be displayed until April 13.