My work examines gender archetypes and stereotypes through the appropriation of traditional feminine practice. Through these laborious practices, I aim to contextualize decorative craft within the world of contemporary fine art. I am drawn to the juxtapositions of life + death, innocence + corruption, and soft + tough to deconstruct the expectations of modern women in relation to the lifestyles of past generations. Through the adaption of the domestic female pastime of needlecraft, these embellished works remain delicate and precious representations of obsessive labor, yet they are tinged with dark humor and satirical messages.
In referencing traditional “women’s work”, I aim to bring to light the evolution of the familial and professional roles of women over time in relation to the narrowing barrier between fine art and craft practices. By removing these craft elements from the historical domestic atmosphere, the embroidery thread on stretched fabrics, particularly canvas, acts as another mark-making instrument and consequently relatable to the act of painting. Similarly, as women expand their presence into the male-dominated public and become increasingly independent, they too are breaking the barriers of idealized gender roles.
Aesthetically, I am fascinated by the intricacy of bodily remnants left behind by humans and animals after death; the idea that life and death coexist within a memory, each decaying as time progresses. Physical and elemental similarities between species are made more apparent through death, the inevitable return to the earth as a pile of bones. Our lives are largely constructed by societal norms and institutions set in place to further the distance between us and uncivilized animals. These constructs, attempting to remove humans from their primal states by encouraging certain acceptable behaviors, have become the focal point of my artwork. I am particularly interested in the clashing imagery of a healthy child with an animal skull to establish the relationship between the human and the animal in their most natural state, at the point in which the infant acts primarily on survival instinct. These created figures, while humorous at times, aim to deconstruct the role of the female in society through her relationship to reproduction and to the natural world.