A Sydney based multi-disciplinary artist, I am interested in the underlying structures and influences that shape hegemonic concepts of femininity and beauty. The choice to use the toy doll as the primary motif in my work is significant in light of its role in history and contemporary society in shaping girls’ early experiences of being female. Researchers and theorists have charged dolls with normalising maternity, domesticity, physical perfection and mass consumption for girls. Their anthropomorphic qualities give them a shared code of meaning with humans, particularly women, making them a salient object for commenting on the experience of being female.
My work uses dolls as symbolic objects in order to question and subvert culturally dominant conceptions of femininity as constrained, domestic and maternal. The abject dismemberment of the toys resists passive femininity in its transgression of order and appropriate boundaries. The organisation of the dolls within idiosyncratic taxonomical systems is another strategy used to critique archetypal constructs of femininity. Privileging a personal system of cataloging above anthropological, historical, scientific or artistic modes of classification begins to question the authority of established hierarchies of knowledge.
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