FINDING FEMININITY
PHOEBE MASON

MEDIUM: DIGITAL COLLAGE, PAINTING ON PERSPEX, READY-MADE SCULPTURE 
INFLUENCES: JOAN ROSS, BETTY TOMPKINS, JOHANNA GOODMAN, MARTHA ROSLER

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Finding Femininity is a collection of painted digital collages and sculptures that culturally recontextualise artworks using postmodern juxtapositions. 


My artwork dissects the representations and expectations of women from art history, mocking the significance of renowned paintings created, by male artists, during eras when the constructs of being female were dictated by men. 


Selecting subject matter from a variety of historically well-recognised artworks, I have appropriated five paintings by prominent male artists. These five are; The Birth of Venus, 1485-1486 by Sandro Botticelli, The Milkmaid, 1657-1658 by Johannes Vermeer, Everhard Jabach and His Family, 1660 by Charles LeBrun, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-1886 by Georges Seurat, and The Weeping Woman, 1937 by Pablo Picasso. 


Each artwork has been an iconic image from art history, shaping society’s, as well as my own, understanding of what constitutes high art.

The sculptural element of my body of work consists of five ready-made objects, inspired by the transformation of the manufactured object into art in Duchamp’s work. 


A mug, a camera, a hand mirror, a wooden spoon, and a small statue of Venus, their display on the table mimicking the nature of artefacts exhibited in a museum. 


Such delicate artefacts invite the audience to pick them up and explore the words that encompass and hide the initial appearance of a once simple and uncorrupted object. 
Each sculpture corresponds with one of my perspex collages, presenting as a single symbol, encompassing the theme and issues explored in each artwork. 


My Body of Work acts as a satire of art history, commentating on the chaotic nature of searching for the constitution of being female. 


This artwork acts as redemption to art history’s iconic female figures who have been underpinned by the male construct of femininity, creating a contemporary expression of female identity.