Leeds artist Helen Gibson – professionally known as The Perky…
Laura Angell - Awkward Position
8 Nov 2018 - 23 Dec 2018
Laura Angell is a Galway based artist from Sheffield her practice tends to be multidisciplinary installations, in which she uses images and handmade objects - that when together - tell an intended narrative.
Her work focuses on failure, status, success, and anxiety. Exploring society’s psychological concerns and examining subjects we may not want to talk about; secrets, lies, shame and fear. Seeing herself as an emotional flasher. Essential to the work is the juxtaposition between darkness and humour that is employed to dissect these themes.
Previous work has taken on forms of masks, containers and covers; all with pretty veneers, covering heads and bodies that are bursting and racing with thoughts, worries and pressures. Containers and sheet-like shrouds keep things in as well as out.
She doctors, interferes and intervenes, bringing the carefully selected images to a new meaning that is sometimes intentional, sometimes accidental. Her working methods are labour intensive, compulsive, repetitive and obsessive. These methods can be likened to a coping mechanism.
The process of making becomes almost as important as the work itself. The work is laced with repetition and symbols that re-occur taking on multiple meaning. Stitches are straight and controlled which reflect the compulsive nature of the artist and her practice.
This solo show is an installation that responds to the proliferation of pornography in our culture today, it is a protest and a tongue in cheek exploration through humour will bring the viewer to the political. Not that I find it remotely funny - furthermore I don’t feel the political arguments (that I agree with) are not getting through; proof being that it’s so normalised and actively marketed in modern society.
Images of the sexualized female body that are constantly around us supposedly offers women the platform to take control and reveal ourselves as strong, independent empowered beings. This sexualisation has stemmed from and been often influenced by pornography; it has become “the look” and creates pressure that offers no alternative ideology. You’re either sexy or invisible and THAT button (the sexy one) must be switched on at all times. This ideal comes from pornography and is called “Pornification”
‘Pornification; the increasing occurrence and acceptance of sexual themes and explicit imagery in popular or mainstream culture’
A relentless propaganda, pervasive and infectious seeps into every vein of our culture.
I struggle to agree that it empowers our gender. I want women to able to do as they wish, look how they wish and behave as they wish - as is the feminist raison d'etre - but I find what I see incredibly uncomfortable. It angers me and doesn’t feel liberating, yet in this current zeitgeist it feels like I’m supposed to be ‘cool’ about it and accept it as a positive.
Boys young enough to work technology are being exposed to these images, it seeps into their world and affects how their sexuality is manifested. It can hijack their interpretation of sexuality/sensuality which in turn affects female sexuality. Males are brought up with a pornographic eye and women are taught to serve that eye. It then translates into every part of our lives.
My instinct is (and has always been) to cover, re-dress, and empower them in my own unique way, mocking the pornographic system and tropes (bunnies, cats, cockerels and beavers) thereby playing hopefully humorously with these established clichés of female sexuality. Making this kind of installation seems the only form of attack/protest left to me.
The work employs embroidery, domestic textile, cross stitch and crafting/sewing techniques all associated with idea of woman’s work.
The women in my sewing works become superheroes, rock stars and goddesses. Sometimes I put them into onesies, (I think would be most women’s preference to wear something that they are comfortable in rather than what porn makers think we wear). Or dressing the porn models in haute couture; a dichotomy I find very interesting. What could be cheekier than turning lowly regarded models into high fashion models which seems to be credited as the ultimate epitome of female success.
Please check times with event organiser for any last minute changes.
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