Imaginative Objects: Reading the Image in Research. University of Brighton Creative Futures. April – May 2019

Feminine Niceties

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibitionResearch

Abstract

Images from post-war, mid-twentieth century advertising aimed at women and my re-imagination of them upon objects that act as metaphors to contextualise them, play a central role in my practice-based research. The application and subversion of these visual messages translates society’s expectations of women into tangible objects that point a mirror back at the industry responsible for these images, highlighting the ridiculous nature of their claims. Yellow dusters metaphorically visualise domesticity, whilst dressing-table cloths and lingerie from this era signify the beautification and objectification of the female body.
In a period when UK-based initiatives encouraged women back into the home after the war and in the US, sold the American dream, the image of the ‘ideal woman’ was born. Pretty, perfect and domestically minded, it’s an ideal that persists today.
Images are reimagined through embroidery and collage into new compositions that borrow from several sources. The feminine legacy of embroidery connects historical ideas of women’s work and status with image-lead aspirations of an apparently perfect female life.

Image 1: An exact copy of a make-up advert upon a dressing-table cloth. These image-lead narratives set the tone for expected behaviour as well as appearance.
Image 2: Original text from a Veet hair-removing cream embroidered upon a vintage nightie, subverted through a collection of glamorous models who have flowers growing from their armpits.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Fingerprint

Brighton
Creative Futures
Cloth
Embroidery
Domesticity
Objectification
American Dream
Subversion
Ideal
Female Body
Industry
Lingerie
Flower
Women's Work
Aspiration

Cite this

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title = "Imaginative Objects: Reading the Image in Research. University of Brighton Creative Futures. April – May 2019: Feminine Niceties",
abstract = "Images from post-war, mid-twentieth century advertising aimed at women and my re-imagination of them upon objects that act as metaphors to contextualise them, play a central role in my practice-based research. The application and subversion of these visual messages translates society’s expectations of women into tangible objects that point a mirror back at the industry responsible for these images, highlighting the ridiculous nature of their claims. Yellow dusters metaphorically visualise domesticity, whilst dressing-table cloths and lingerie from this era signify the beautification and objectification of the female body.In a period when UK-based initiatives encouraged women back into the home after the war and in the US, sold the American dream, the image of the ‘ideal woman’ was born. Pretty, perfect and domestically minded, it’s an ideal that persists today. Images are reimagined through embroidery and collage into new compositions that borrow from several sources. The feminine legacy of embroidery connects historical ideas of women’s work and status with image-lead aspirations of an apparently perfect female life. Image 1: An exact copy of a make-up advert upon a dressing-table cloth. These image-lead narratives set the tone for expected behaviour as well as appearance. Image 2: Original text from a Veet hair-removing cream embroidered upon a vintage nightie, subverted through a collection of glamorous models who have flowers growing from their armpits.",
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AB - Images from post-war, mid-twentieth century advertising aimed at women and my re-imagination of them upon objects that act as metaphors to contextualise them, play a central role in my practice-based research. The application and subversion of these visual messages translates society’s expectations of women into tangible objects that point a mirror back at the industry responsible for these images, highlighting the ridiculous nature of their claims. Yellow dusters metaphorically visualise domesticity, whilst dressing-table cloths and lingerie from this era signify the beautification and objectification of the female body.In a period when UK-based initiatives encouraged women back into the home after the war and in the US, sold the American dream, the image of the ‘ideal woman’ was born. Pretty, perfect and domestically minded, it’s an ideal that persists today. Images are reimagined through embroidery and collage into new compositions that borrow from several sources. The feminine legacy of embroidery connects historical ideas of women’s work and status with image-lead aspirations of an apparently perfect female life. Image 1: An exact copy of a make-up advert upon a dressing-table cloth. These image-lead narratives set the tone for expected behaviour as well as appearance. Image 2: Original text from a Veet hair-removing cream embroidered upon a vintage nightie, subverted through a collection of glamorous models who have flowers growing from their armpits.

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