Last March I was delighted to be a part of this installation of the words You Are Beautiful, part of the You Are Beautiful movement, which you can read about here.
It was at the amazing space that is Flourish Studios, which includes a retail store, the Studio for Change and more.
Here’s my Letter E:
What am I doing with all that pink and sewing patterns? Here’s a statement I wrote about paintings in this series:
These paintings are about domesticity, women’s sphere, motherhood. They’re also about body image, body size and ‘measuring up.’
The doilies and the sewing items represent women’s work—everything that women do is less valued. Women start in a field and the pay goes down.
These paintings at once celebrate women’s work—cooking, quilting, sewing clothes, while also saying, “Hey, there’s more to us than this.”
By elevating, by monumentalizing these housewifely, womanly things, I’m trying to get you to look at them in a new way.
I collect these fragments of women’s lives—hand typed recipe cards, orphaned quilt squares—and one of my favorites—these index cards with sewing technique samples and instructions. I collected these things years before I started painting —they just appealed to me.
Though women have more choices than before, we’re still paid less, we’re still almost completely unrepresented in art museums. And if you’re a mother you have a ton of expectations laid at your feet.
Women in general have unreasonable standards we face—in beauty, in body, in being the perfect mother. These paintings at once celebrate the hidden home work while also asking Is this all there is? Can I be some more please?