Artist Statement

“A woman is mute within our culture  in that when she speaks, she speaks as a man”

In using stereotypical female mediums like knitting  I endeavour to find an appropriate language for ‘woman’ within our culture.    It is important my work looks aesthetically  pleasing and decorative  then within it I juxtapose the use of  aggressive, non-feminine language and concepts of the feminine and female. Humour is important and deliberate within my work.   Initially to disarm the viewer  until they realise the underlying subversion within the piece undermining the established and historic traditions of these  female mediums.

Straightjackets are powerful and symbolic icons.  Initial view of 0- 6 months  alludes to cosy pink lovingly knitted nostalgia for domestic motherhood.  However, on closer inspection the dark underbelly of domestic disharmony is exposed within the piece.  The viewer quickly realises where cute baby buttons should be – there are restraint buckles and the arms are curiously long, to wrap all round and confine the innocent infant.  This is no cardigan – this is a straightjacket.  A clear taboo that straightjackets allude to is that of insanity – whilst society accepts physical illness as part of the human condition, mental illness is still hidden and unspoken – locked away behind closed doors.

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