Title: Stripes (After Gene Davis)
Materials: Painted Wooden Curtain Rail, Coloured Cotton Threads, Iron
Female artists have been involved in making art in most times and places. Often certain media are associated with women, particularly textile arts. Many art forms dominated by women have been historically dismissed from the art historical canon as craft, as opposed to fine art.
Even today, women artists face challenges due to gender biases in the mainstream fine art world. They have often encountered difficulties in training, travelling and trading their work, and gaining recognition.
Through playfully mixing art-historical references with domestic-consumer objects, Stripes (After Gene Davis) seeks to explore and question the role of the female artist in contemporary society. The title of the piece refers directly to Color Field painter, Gene Davis and parodies his somewhat-masculine ‘stripe paintings’. But unlike Davis’ abstract works, the appropriated objects and materials presented here are synonymous with women, the realms of domesticity, and the repetitive chores of housework: hundreds of metres of cotton thread, an iron, and a curtain rail.
The work incorporates, utilises and transforms everyday domestic items for aesthetic and socio-cultural reasons. The mass-produced objects contrast with, and consciously draw attention to, the unique and crafted element of the work. The work highlights notions of craft and the creativity of manual dexterity; and at the same time elevates notions of choice and the use of the intellect. The playful element is further emphasised by the cheap, hand-crafted assemblage, which unashamedly exposes the material and the simple techniques.
Collins, J (2007). Sculpture Today. London: Phaidon Press Limited.
Women artists. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_artists#Contemporary_artists. Last accessed 08/10/2014.