The seeds of what would become this project began with the #metoo movement. Until that point, I had never really considered myself a feminist. My self perception was that I was a strong, independent woman and therefore had no need to be a feminist, I suppose. It's hard for me to think about now because it seems so selfish and one-sided. But then everyone started posting about #metoo and I began to think about things differently. I really started to scrutinize my own behavior as well as the actions of others around me and how I reacted to that.
At certain times in my life, I have been gifted with a flash of insight that is so profound that I can't believe I didn't see it before. The way I understand it, is that my subconscious is always taking in information and experience and emotion and reframing it in such a way so that, at the moment that I am emotionally ready for this insight, it hits me in an instant. This is what happened to me with feminism.
In January 2018, I had just moved into a new studio and feminism had been on my mind almost constantly. I felt that I had a new perspective on life and my experiences. So one morning, as I was driving home from my studio, I passed by an empty lot where they were beginning construction on a new house. the lot was empty, except for one machine that had an attachment on the front that reminded me of a limp phallus. I began to think about how the media and society in general portray and think about masculine symbols vs feminine symbols. My mind began racing. What are traditional and/or contemporary symbols that represent masculinity or femininity? How does the media's portrayal of these symbols effect our thinking individually and culturally? Have things changed much and how since the first wave feminist movement?
This project has been very different for me from any other creative work I have created in that it began with research. I often begin making something and then interpret what it means but this project began with investigating the above questions and many more. I feel that it is extremely important for me to be knowledgeable about the many facets of feminism, how intersectionality effects how people view and are effected by feminism, how privilege plays a roll and what others are saying and doing about it.
While research is still an ongoing part of my process, I was soon ready to begin creating.