- Full collection coming in Autumn 2018
Object and jewelry collection
This popular fairy tale inspired textile work is a perverse interpretation of traditional fairy tales, criticising gender polarisation still present in postmodern capitalism.
It is a contemporary textile piece containing seven hearts. Each heart is different and is made using mini crocheting technique. They are all placed in a separate glass coffin like frame. Each heart is a miniature sculpture and a textile jewelry piece.
Brief Analyses of the Subject
Gender polarisation is a concept in sociology by American psychologist Sandra Bem which states that societies tend to define femininity and masculinity as polar opposite genders, such that male-acceptable behaviours and attitudes are not seen as appropriate for women, and vice versa.
Some theories - which are collectively termed social construction theories - claim that gender behaviours is mostly due to social conventions. Most children learn to categorise themselves by gender by the age of three. From birth, children learn gender stereotypes and roles from their parents and environment.
The popular meaning of the symbol of the heart is that “The heart is the locus of physical and spiritual being, and represents the "central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason" (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection.”
Similarly in sexism and gender stereotypes the same opposition persists between feminine qualities (feeling, compassion, etc.) and masculine qualities (intellect, reason, courage, etc.). Thus the opposites attract concept originates.
In Brothers Grimm story Snow White is attractive to her masculine rescuer because her deathly appearance renders her passive, beautiful mannequin susceptible to appropriation. Weak and vulnerable, the lifeless female form automatically posits the male body as its sexually dominant opposite.
Nineteenth century literature presents the glass coffin as a prison within which sleeping women are frequently mistaken for dead or vice versa. Since the sleeping woman’s corpse-like quality is often eroticised within narratives, the glass coffin becomes a prominent symbol of necrophilic desire.
In my work the seven dwarf hearts in a glass coffin will symbolise precisely this stereotypical gender bipolarity which will either have to die or wake up radically different.
Textile as the chosen medium is particularly suitable for this work. Textile crafts is stereotypically perceived as a feminine activity.