A Fierce Dainty
This body of work challenges the exclusion of women from western art history and the devaluing of women’s ‘traditional’ creative work, with a specific focus on needlework. It sees women’s needlework as fine art and chooses to repurpose paintings by some of western art histories ‘classic masters’ who use the woman embroidering as their subjects, and who have become leaders in the art history we learn today. These repurposed paintings then become a material base to ultimately become altered, remade, and (re)claimed by needlework techniques used in contemporary manners.
A Fierce Dainty’s embroidered fabric prints and (re)claimed pattern designs contrast old and new; traditional and untraditional techniques to speak about (re)clamation of identities and modern versus contemporary ideas on women’s creativity and femininity. It does this from a variety of perspectives, from the institutional to the personal, using historical references as well as figurative self portraits to make us question the way we are conditioned to view and think about women’s creative contributions. It explores themes and dialogues of truth versus illusion, absence versus presence, and submission versus subversion.
This work stresses the historic roles of women as subjects in art history rather than as active art makers and doers. With that it hopes to acknowledge the creative needlework of the women of centuries past, and also open a discourse for how women are using needlework today in all various spheres.