Artist Statement: Encourage Series
In my series, “Encourage”, I’ve taken the human vulva out of its usual context- the female body- & have given it its own space of existence.
The art-objects are two-sided, three-dimensional life castings of human, female genitalia. My pieces are made in materials other than human flesh which takes the viewer's mind beyond biology. The same object, replicated in multiple materials, encourages the viewer to go beyond sexuality or erotica when looking at the genitalia. Once we step beyond biology and sexuality, what else is there? Here enters culture, history, politics, perception, action, & intellect- the fabric of our human-made environment.
The vulvas have been cast in various materials- resin, soil, crayon, candy, porcelain, iron, eraser, etc…- which allude to both historic and cultural values. Each material gives physical presence to the multi-dimensionality of a female; each piece is a multi-layered metaphor referencing the quest for Self.
I have purposely only shown the aroused clitoris in my castings, as opposed to the vaginal opening. The existence & acceptance of female pleasure is a difficult concept for many to contemplate or even experience. The combination of subject, material, & environment encourages a stream of thought in order to reveal the viewer’s own ideas regarding female sexuality, identity, & autonomy as well as the undeniable nuances of commodity, utility, & value of the human female in the mind’s eye of both the sexes.
The pieces I have created are a translation of what I have seen and experienced in this world regarding that which is connected to and associated with female genitalia. My hope is that this work will leave the viewer with a richer understanding of their own perceptions related to this subject, & encourage greater respect for themselves & one another.