This work is an exploration of several themes. Central to my work is how to make sense of women’s visibility and political agency through art, either as maker or viewer.
As an artist the taking of space comes through exhibiting, working and being part of a creative community.
But some of the issues that women artists face are bound up with the role of care giver/provider, a gendered role that we are often socialised into. And the equally problematic task of self-care.
More traditional definitions of care have too frequently removed women from political visibility. Caring takes them out of the sphere of political visibility, of taking their space and places them into a role of responsibility for another’s well being, or their own wellbeing.
As a woman artist, if I don’t take my space, if I am too preoccupied with caring for other individuals wellbeing and as a consequence of this my own wellbeing, my visibility and political agency is greatly diminished. And because so many women, especially at the intersections of race, class, sexuality, disability and identification come under continual scrutiny in making their lived experiences visible and heard, they invariably have to remove themselves from public view in order to take care of themselves, emotionally, mentally and physically.
Protecting visible space for women is essential and is frequently a task undertaken by other women and is undervalued by those whose political agency and inhabitation of public space is far less problematic.
My interests lie in shifting the definitions of care toward protecting and developing women’s political agency and public visibility. Art is the activity and the product of a mind at play. And viewing an art work, if you’re willing, can offer you a way of caring for yourself that doesn’t reduce your visibility or political agency. It should enhance it.
This work is a way of considering women and their visibility in public space. Our visibility in the public domain is commodified in ways that negatively effect our perceptions of ourselves and others perceptions of women.
This piece uses commodified body parts to represent a woman – hands, mouth, breasts, and vagina – and begins to unpick the layers of perceptions around those sexualised body parts by juxtaposing them geographically and microbially to consider women’s realities, their political agency and visibility in a specific location and how they are consumed, redacted and often eradicated.