Victoria and Albert Museum

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Hidden Reality- Nails and Bacteria

Hidden Reality- Nails and Bacteria

This is a self-initiated project based on bacteria and germs which lie underneath nails and how nail polish can cover up unhealthy or destroyed nails. Ultimately resulting in the "Hidden Reality".

The main image of the nail art illustrations, shows the different layers of the nail. I used various patterns and specific colours to show these layers. The brightly coloured patterns on some nails, portray the layer of dirt. The patterns and colours used are inspired by the different shapes and forms of microscopic bacteria. I've also shown the 'broken' or 'destroyed' layer of the nail via the zig zag lines.

I wanted to illustrate the 'ugliness' of the 'broken' nail using the cover up that is nail polish. In turn showing what's really being hidden.

Colours and what they portray:

Peachy pink- Flesh layer of the finger
Yellow- Layers beneath top layer
White- Nail polished layer
Grey- Natural nail
Black lines- Lines that can appear on nails
Patterned- Layer of dirt (bacteria etc)