Submitted for The Little Black Dress

 

The Call For Art is from The Brush Gallery in Lowell, one of my favorite local galleries. The exhibit is called “The Little Black Dress.”  Here’s anothe glimpse of my piece called The Barbie Project, AKA The Political Black Dress.

I photographed these Barbie dolls a few years ago, when I picked up a whole bag full of them from Freecycle for my granddaughter. Since they’d been in someone’s basement for years, I decided to give the girls a good bath. They looked so hilarious sitting all together on the sink drying that I started to photograph them.  Then I washed their clothes as well and dressed them with all their clean duds, so of course, I found myself giving them all new hair dos!  This too was hilarious because I was a 65 year old woman who never played with dolls and never had a Barbie.  But I knew right then that I would eventually put them to good use in some textile art.

The first thing I did was make a little black dress for our star.

The dress

Before a backdrop of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinham quotes, these Barbies remind us of the social pressures and norms, even today, that can exert psychological stress and harm as women struggle with our feminine identities in a misogynist culture.

“We are our bodies, and our bodies are not wrong, they are not ugly, they are not dirty, they are not too fat or too hairy or too tall or too masculine. Our consciousness doesn’t hover somewhere a foot above our heads; it’s embedded in every cell. We can’t damage our bodies without damaging ourselves; we can’t love ourselves and other women if we don’t love our own women’s bodies. And we can’t be honest in our feminism if we pretend that making choices to harm our bodies and conform to the dictates of a system that hates us is liberating and empowering.

http://feminist-reprise.org/library/appearance-and-beauty-practices/feminism-and-the-politics-of-appearance/      Amy Winter

 “It is not possible to preserve one’s identity by adjusting for any length of time to a frame of reference that is in itself destructive to it. It is very hard indeed for a human being to sustain such an ‘inner’ split – conforming outwardly to one reality, while trying to maintain inwardly the value it denies.”
― Betty FriedanThe Feminine Mystique

New Addition to the Liminal States & Thresholds for Change Series

This whole series is the product of a summer of Eco-Dying and Printing and includes some shibori, some rusting and some indigo dyes. The final details on this one are actually painted on with acrylic paints to expand the photos of the trees from the squares into the spaces above and below.

In the Stillness. web.
In The Stillness. #5 in the series: Liminal States & Thresholds for Change
In the Stillness .web.
Detail, In the Stillness

These trees are from photos I took in my back yard:

Then it was ‘shopped some more, cropped and divided into four sections and printed on fabric as seen in this piece. Sometimes artists have a hard time differentiating between what they know in their heads to how it’s perceived when others look at it.  Fortunately, I belong to a small critique group, now a local Pod of the regional SAQA, North Of Boston, which we call the NOB. From my experience with them I found that one didn’t necessarily “see” what I saw, in what was then just four photos, not necessarily related as one picture;  hence came the painting in of branches to unite the four sections and bring it to a finish!

I think Nina Marie has some exciting plans in the works for the summer:

Off The Wall Friday

“Origins” Unveiled

Another finish!  I’ve had so many in the works for awhile now so I’m really happy to get these guys done! It’s another in my series : Liminal States, Thresholds For Change.

All textiles are eco-printed.

origins-web
Origins
detailo-origins-web
Detail

Linking up with Nina Marie again!