Animal is a series of photographic portraits of a woman Gemma met on an internet dating/networking website in 2006. Without knowing anything of the artist or her motivations to make contact, the woman engaged in sending photographs of herself via mobile phone, some erotic, some banal.
Over a period of nearly two years, the artist received 69 pictures before contacting Jane.
Fascinated by her character and the disclosure that she used the offer of contact as an "anonymous online confessional", Gemma learnt that she, from Italian Catholic descent, was an 'executive escort'. She described her bitterness towards her family's rejection of her, the disillusion with relationships and people at large; she prefers the honest company of animals. A trained vet, eloquent and darkly witty, Animal aimed to illustrate her in a way that re-established her engagement with her own sexuality, challenge her occupational feelings and allowed her to be the literal "sexual creature" she so desired to be.
Utilising the canon of Surrealism's anthropomorphic gestures and grandiose Italian Renaissance art aesthetic, Animal brings a hyper-surreality to the commissioned portrait.