Artist's Statement for Coping Skills & Garment Series

In recent series I wanted to explore and question the roles of women and women artists.  In the last decades artists have been allowed to move beyond the gentle arts of needlepoint and watercolor, allowing for a more aggressive and passionate expression.  As an artist, I never identified myself as a feminist.  My being female was just a part of my biology, driving my sexual encounters and relations and the cause of reproduction.  All of these feminist identifiers caused ambiguity within me.  Constriction, restraint, feelings of abuse, and invisibility were the products of my femininity.  In no way was I called to wave the feminist banner.  I did not want someone to give me credit for or look at my art only through the pink lenses of feminism.  I feel art should stand on its own as to content and visual principles of design.  Does the viewer really need to know that a female created a work?  So for years I de-feminized my subject matter, colors, and construction.  I was going for an androgynous art. 



Unfortunately, this separatist attitude developed into a denial of my complete person.  I AM a woman.  I AM a wife.  I AM a mother. I loved playing with dolls as a child.  I love to sew and crochet.  As I began an archeological dig culturally, psychologically, and personally in my recent Excavations and Explorations series, I re-discovered and acknowledged - for the first time - my feminine history and existence.  My new works include the very ambiguity I feel over this issue the abuse of the innocent child, societal attempts to break the feminine spirit and strength, celebrations of the resilience of children, the paradox and invisibility of motherhood and domestic practices, as well as the raw desire of sex and love. 



My use of domestic and childhood materials and constructions of fabric and vintage apparel reveal the paradox of the life of a woman artist.  I have embraced my love of the color pink and the vintage teal that stands for home and comfort.  By questioning what femininity means to myself, I hope to offer a record of one-woman artists journey into acceptance and the embrace of the feminine spirit I have denied for years.  In this series I visualize the depolarization of my artist/feminine self.