Fourth year has been a confusing time for me. Being surrounded by my peers creating jewellery has really thrown me off and doubt myself as an artist. However, I realised that as long as I am creating what I want to create and heading in the best suited direction for me then everything else will fall into place.
I used this year as time for me to further explore working with porcelain- a continuation from the time I spent exploring the ceramics department in my third year. I enjoy working with a material which is easy to sculpt by hand. I find I work best with my hands and moulding the material into my desired shape. Working with clay is a gamble- will it melt in the kiln? will it stick to another piece of clay? will the glaze be off? will the colour turn out a totally different one from what you plan?- these are all thoughts which circle your head when working with this material. It’s exciting, it’s infuriating but it’s interesting.
I feel my body of work was a form of therapy for me. I have an interest in art therapy and I thought this was what my honours project would be based on. However, by exploring the theme of female empowerment and the media’s effect on women in society, I have really put myself into this work. It has really made me think about my own views of myself and the way in which others view me.
My main inspiration behind the theme was the comments made by Donald Trump about women over the years. It really made me think about how a person in a position of power could have such an effect on not only women but the world. His comments even provoked marches worldwide and sparked so much debate between people. I was really effected by his Presidential win as I felt it was a step back for society and a step back for the women’s rights movement. To me it felt like the world was saying that it was ok to talk about women and people in a downgrading manner.
Basically, my final pieces are all about saying that the media can have their opinions about a woman’s appearance but we will fight back and we will not conform to a society of sexist ideologies. The distorted bobble head characters are all about beauty standards and there unrealistic ideas of the female face and body. The large cherry red lips are a symbolise of sexualising women. I have also chosen a colour palette of baby pink and blue to symbolise men and women both having opinions of the way in which a women should look. The collage is all about female empowerment and the impact of the women’s rights movements over the decades.