Kim Stanley Medlen is a visual artist whose jewellery-based work
responds to contemporary issues that surround HIV/AIDS and gay
male body image.
Stigmatisation by religious, political and medical institutions
has had a considerable impact on gay males with HIV/AIDS living
in Australia. To avoid discrimination it has become increasingly
common for these men to alter their physical appearance through
body building and cosmetic surgery. This hyper-masculine masquerade
gives the appearance of conforming to Western ideals of masculinity
and the healthy body and therefore increases the value and social
status of these men.
Medlens visual art make use of jewellery making techniques
such as piercing, dye forming and gold plating to express these
ideas and to stimulate discussion and awareness of those who live
on the boundaries of society.