New Artist Statement….

My work explores ideas of masculinity and femininity in relation to myself, what these ideas represent, the differences between them and the dichotomies used to understand them. I feel that I am representing my own masculine and feminine dichotomies, my own struggle to express, but also hide particular qualities of my nature and personality.

I want to show the struggle of the inner and outer; inner being who I am; my feminine qualities and outer being how I believe I should act and how I wish I was.

I’ve decided to focus on masculine and feminine because that is how I understand and categorise the emotions, traits, feelings and roles that I wish to explore.

Firstly, I would like to explain how I see masculinity and femininity particularly within myself. Masculinity is logical, strong, straight, bold, fierce, sharp, hard, confident and brave. Femininity is erratic, changeable, delicate, touchy, gentle, sentimental, overwhelmed, and expressive.
Several points have brought me to this subject; my problems with anxiety and depression make me feel weak when compared to the strong, straight forward, brave way of my immediate micro society imposes on nearly every aspect of me. How I have seen and understood my parents; my mother was intuitive and changeable, and my father being logical and strong. And finally how the outside world can make me feel; I feel contained and restrained by how I feel I should act and how I feel others should see me.

In exploring this subject the focus on clothes and fabric is important, as they represent, or at least give clues to the inner and the outer. Deconstructing clothes takes away the form and meaning of the garment, leaving just the fabric and the masculine and feminine qualities they represent.

I have attempted to resolve my issues in exploring the masculine and feminine dichotomies by ordering this bundled confusion of ideas and objects into three streams of work. The Frames represent the soft, vulnerable interior contained by the strong outer, the silk organza is imposed by the embroidered dominant word. The Collages are a story-board of tactile adjectives and comparisons; I wanted to show how I feel contained, squashed and under expressed by the logical, concise, masculine nature. The Ties are my attempt to bring a more my own feminine side to a distinctively masculine piece of clothing.

The American artist Mike Kelley has inspired me with his work in the late 80’s, with his collages of stuffed animals and second hand fabrics. He describes these assemblage sculptures as ‘craft’; emphasising the time invested in each piece and thereby his disparagement of masculine art. Each piece is heavily instilled with emotion and history. Tracy Emin and Peter Hobbs use text and sexual ideas and imagery to show power and domination. My images; screen printed and embroidered on my ties are based from my original investigations on fetish and the body, through which I see myself attempting to be stronger and bolder than I feel. I also drew from Peter Hobbs’ essay The Sewing Machine Desire that talks about making objects that disturb or contradict our conventional ideas of masculinity.

I want to represent different roles, attitudes and ideals our society has on masculinity and femininity, as well as the combination of my struggle to show who I am, who I want to be and how I want to be seen.

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Collage

The collages are a selection of writings, drawings, fabrics, and found objects. This bundled confusion of objects represents my concept by grouping together scraps of different roles, attitudes and ideals of sexuality in society. It is made up of fabrics representing masculine and feminine, garments with sexual appeal, advertising images, my own drawings and samples I have made in attempt to represent my concept. These are working photos of my 3 collages.

Collage 2 Collage 3Collage 1

“Lightweight?” Exhibition, Dunedin.

For the past week I have been in Dunedin, New Zealand, helping set up an exhibition in association with the Dunedin Otago Polytechnic and the Australian National University School of Art. The Exhibition was named “Lightweight?”, which made reference to the weight and size limitations of the art pieces do to travel. Recent graduates, current 3rd year students and lecturers all participated in the exhibition, creating a total of 50 textile artists and pieces! I travelled over with two other students and two lecturers, we were billeted out (so very high school!) into a family of one of the students at the Otago Polytechnic. I believe that staying with such a wonderful family really made the trip, however we did learn a lot about setting up an exhibition and the nuts and bolts behind the organising process. Visiting another art school was also a valuable, I believe Art Schools have the same pros and cons everywhere and it’s refreshing to see that all Art institutions have the same problems.
We had an interesting talk from the owner of the Salisbury Gallery, a private and commercial gallery, which was interesting to compare to how a public Art Gallery is run. Much more profit driven, which I suppose is to be expected.

I had a quick look at this website before I left and it gave me a better idea of what to expect. It also had some very useful links to main attractions and Art and Craft Galleries.

Dunedin, New Zealand was cold (top of 13 degrees), scenic (so much green, hills and ocean), had a brillaint art life (especially sculpture and installations), great local beer (Speight’s) and a hilarious rivarly (oh, Australia, you mean that little island to the west?)

Screen print

screen print

This is a sample of some of the work i make, pop back later to view some more 🙂

What is my work about?

naked cloth corset

What is my work about?

The roles, attitudes and even the sexualities of men and women in society are slowly blurring into the same ideals, even aspects of our dress are becoming more androgynous. Males and females are equal bread winners, equal and active roles are being taken in raising children, the boundaries and distinctions between male and female roles no longer apply in our culture. There isn’t a separation of male and female, but of masculine and feminine; expressions rather than classifications. The two distinctions are not bound by the two sexualities they represent, they are free to be worn and expressed by both sexes.
Deconstructing clothes takes away the form and meaning of the garment, leaving just the fabric and the masculine and feminine qualities they represent. Fragments of the fabric still reference its past; buttons, seams and pockets hint at what the garment once was and what it meant.
The images I choose to work with are a contrast to the conservative material/fabric that I use. I see the images as what’s hidden on the inside of the clothes. Even as it is becoming more acceptable express our sexual feelings and behaviour they are still hidden just as is our naked bodies by the clothes we wear and the fabrics we choose to cover them with. These images express the hidden, our fantasies and secrets that are covered by the everyday fabrics of our society.

Frames.

The frames use second-hand fabric which has been a part of society; used by members of public and had a role in representing meaning to others. The fabrics are conservative and by contrast the images are of a pornographic/erotic nature. Here I am trying to represent that despite what is visible on the outside, a concealed, hidden inside part of your personality is beneath. I have been trying to combine female images with masculine fabrics and vice versa, because I feel it portrays an interesting contrast. The containment of the frame, makes me think of a small part of the bigger picture. Like a snapshot of a society coming to terms with expression of sexuality.

Collages.

The collages are a selection of writings, drawings, fabrics, and found objects. This bundled confusion of objects represents my concept by grouping together scraps of different roles, attitudes and ideals of sexuality in society. It is made up of fabrics representing masculine and feminine, garments with sexual appeal, advertising images, my own drawings and samples I have made in attempt to represent my concept.

Ties.

Even as clothing becomes more androgynous, the Tie is still a symbol of status, male dominance and power. While trying not to change the shape of this phallic symbol, I am trying to change its meaning. Using embroidery and screen printing, I am redesigning the Ties with pornographic/erotic images. To make the meaning of the less powerful, more humorous, more accessible and able to be worn by anyone and to comment on society’s confusion regarding sexual behaviour and symbols.

Lining.

I want to combine masculine and feminine elements with the inside and outside of garments. On the outside is what is seen and how we are represented and on the inside is our private lives; free to fantasise and act truly ourselves. I will change the lining and inside of garments to represent a different quality to what the outside fabric shows, I am doing this through using prints and embroidery of words and images that tell a different story to the overtly masculine or feminine fabric on the outside.