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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Castle or playpen

Playpen, pictured below is from an exhibition titled Women's Images Of Men 04. Along with 8 other female artists we created work based on our ideas, thoughts, experiences of men. The idea was NOT to humilate men, but to embrace a rare opportunity for women to work collaboratively together, to have their own dialogue and to address social and political issues that were of concern personally. The inspiration for the exhibition was drawn from the 1980 the exhibition Womens Images of Men held at the ICA. The 1980 exhibition invited close-minded critism from an art atmosphere of taboo, censorship, male dominance and limited perception for female artists. Prior to our exhibition I met with Jacqueline Morreau, (one of the original artists) and discussed the evolution of the objectification of the "male", how females artists are percieved today and how our representation of the male figure has changed.

In our show artists tended to create work that shared a memory or a story relating to thier husband, brother, son etc.

For my piece I made a Playpen which connects the very softness and feminine quality of crafts along with the idea of nurturing in the composition of the soft sculptures within the Playpen. This is in contrast with the masculinity that emerges through the iconography - the dartboard, golf bag, sky sports on the T.V screen - replicas of my husband or sons "toys" made out of felt material and then embriodered. The small installation is based on the idea that a mans home is his castle but inside it's still a playroom. Playpen explored issues of depencdency, nurturing, mothering and supportiveness. The small sculptured recreations played tunes, had rattles and bells in them to add to the connotation of toys. Viewers were invited to crawl inside the Castle playpen and interact with the "toys" or observe from the outside.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Story So Far.......

I thought I would start of my blog by looking back at some of my previous art work. Ever since I can remember I have made things/objects/pictures out of what I could find around me. This may have been objects from a market, around the house, collections etc. I tend to make work in response to everyday images, emotions and influences - my subject matter being everyday occurances. During my degree I made alot of work around the theme of the female form, using a range a media from felt, fabric, print, pencil and found objects.

I was influenced by artists Judy Chicage, Rosemary Trockel and Helen Chadwick in particular during this time, interested in discussing the boundary between art and craft. This was a great time for exploration and investigation for me in terms of establishing materials I liked to work with and how I could manipulate materials to take on other qualities. The pod series that I worked on explored the use of bronze, wax and felt. The final installation consisted of 198 felt pods placed in a small alcove creating a womb or cell like space.

Felt, Bronze and Wax Pods