Friday, May 18, 2012

Constructions of Femininity

My art show/installation Constructions of Femininity at loop Gallery opens on Saturday, May 26, 2012. Work on this project has been underway for more than a year, and has happened in fits and spurts as I've juggled a myriad of research papers, speaking engagements and other things. It has been one of the busiest years of my life and at times I've wondered why I took on so much. I didn't know how I would juggle it all and I've been tempted to walk away this opportunity more than once, but my biggest fan and supporter, my husband, believed that I could do it and would not let me quit.

Constructions of Femininity is an exploration of the artifice of feminine dress and identity. This work juxtaposes the extreme silhouettes of 18th century dress with the armour of the modern day hockey warrior and was inspired by young women hockey players who have redefined femininity to include feats of courage, strength, and power. Hockey equipment has been transformed with feminine signifiers of ribbon, sequins and beading paired with silhouettes such as a romantic tutu or panier made out of armour-like mesh.

The choice of materials is designed to invoke a Canadian identity: mosquito mesh for a tongue and cheek reference to our mosquito infested north, aboriginal beading techniques referencing the trading practices which founded our country, and hockey equipment as a reference to our national sport. This work is intended to be a whimsical celebration of the power of sport to redefine femininity.

The photo that I used for my invitation only suggests at what will be on display, since the details of the beading are not evident in this photograph. There are seven hockey related sculptures, each unique in defining the construction of femininity.

Toronto Life Magazine picked my show as one of five art shows to see in Toronto in June for their Going Out column. That is a real coup..... and I couldn't be happier. Getting this kind of publicity in the visual arts is a rare happening.

If you are in Toronto, please join me for the opening reception at loop Gallery on Saturday, May 26, 2012 from 2-5 pm. I will also be at the gallery on Sunday, May 27th from 1-4 pm. The show runs until June 17th, and that afternoon there will be a Question and Answer session from 2-3 pm.

Loop Gallery is located at 1372 Dundas Street West, Toronto. The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 5 pm and Sundays 1 to 4 pm.

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