Portfolio > Exploring the Terrain

plate litho / xerox printing
Untitled (pose 5)
paper plate litho / xerox printing
20" x 26"

Gender, a portfolio exchange

The first annual Morrissey Gallery portfolio exchange at St. Ambrose University explores the topic of gender, the 2015 College of Arts and Sciences programming theme.
Is it a boy? Is it a girl? Gender is often thought of as a dichotomous state rather than a continuum between femininity and masculinity. This theme dives into the social construction of gender and gender-based inequalities, and is open to artistic interpretation.

Artist Statement

on gender and equity:
“Gender equality is based on the premise that women and men should be treated in the same way. This fails to recognize that equal treatment will not produce equitable results, because women and men have different life experiences. “

the self:
There is an inherent difference between the way we perceive ourselves, and the way we are observed by others. Society plays a large role in the construction of an individual’s identity, personality, and gender. I seek alternatives to this structure, a different perspective that resonates with my own journey through life, what I think, feel, and believe in. We are not all born the same, and it is empowering to celebrate this variety and difference with an open acceptance. An image of the female form is burdened with layers of cultural baggage, largely that of desirability. While the dominant voice of mainstream society may dictate what is attractive, at least in their terms, I seek a more intriguing and unique viewpoint. In an effort to recreate the viewer’s perception of what it is to be female, I am drawn to creating images of the figure that evoke a mysterious and sensual response. One can appreciate the simplicity of an ambiguous glimpse of skin, as light falls across soft shape and illuminates rounded form. Harmonic balance of pose and gesture construct an image of the androgynous body that is at once soft and strong, delicate and robust, timeless, anonymous, and universally true.

the process:
Working with a self-portrait, this print translates a photograph through a 2-plate paper litho process (basically a Xerox slathered in gum arabic/water, then rolled over with oil-based ink). The image is printed onto unbleached cotton muslin fabric using an etching press.