remnant fabric, copper, food net, thread45 x 33 x 7 inches
This work emphasizes the contrasts of inequity. The gauzy transparency of the body area underscores the flimsiness of the ruse supporting inequitable practices. The red/green opposing color palette accentuates the disparity of lives caught in the web of inequity versus those unaffected or unconcerned. The metal spikes that curve back to the structure affirm that inequity is a recurring practice of harm.
reclaimed fabric, copper, food net, thread60 x 33 x 10 inches
The excess and power of privilege is something many do not like to acknowledge. The exaggerated head with its sparkles, fancy texture and gold color looms off the wall, looking down at the viewer. Some pretend that privilege doesn’t exist, or that it doesn’t affect the lives of those who do not have such advantages. But privilege creates barriers – physically, emotionally, mentally, and motivationally. Its effects are far-reaching.
The fifth in this series of shield-like forms, all of which have opaquely covered facial areas and translucent body areas, this one screamed out silence. And silence in the face of ills in our world is complicity in their effects, both past and present. Its predominantly white coloration and blood-red embroidered words speak about oppression and exclusion.
The images from the demonstrations in the spring and summer of 2020 showed many types of protective gear used by both demonstrators and law enforcement. I wondered if these shields created more division, and worried that the incessantly-broadcasted images were not necessarily a good thing. At that point, we were all protecting ourselves with masks, staying inside, and putting up barriers, both physical and psychological. It’s hard to know what the affect of that isolation will be on us in the future.
Being isolated has caused many of us to talk out loud to ourselves more freely than we may have been doing before the shut-down. Whether it is aloud or within, the constant self-conversation goes on, especially when we’re alone and isolated from the world, and sometimes it’s not pretty.
For far too long, we have hidden behind blinders constructed of a “normal life.” The pretty colors and patterns of that nice life have blinded us to others’ cold, harsh realities. We hid behind our beliefs that talking and acting a certain way now would absolve us of the terrors of history. The façade is cracking, and our secret is out. We must remove the blinders and act.
When everything shut down and we all donned our masks, everyone was muffled. It was hard to understand others when they talked, if one was fortunate enough to even be around others. Even the reporters were muffled. The cries for justice were no longer muffled as demonstrators took to the streets… but even they weren’t loud enough for true justice to occur. They are still muffled to some ears.
Women often groom themselves according to societal expectations rather than their own. Hiding behind that façade, do we lose ourselves in the construct we build, or are we deliberately or comfortably concealing our true selves behind that front? Are we the construct? Is the construct us?