My current studio practice began to take form while studying art in Florence, Italy, where I started taking pictures of mannequins in store windows and juxtaposing them with photos of raw meat in butcher shop windows. As someone with an eating disorder that began in my teens, I had developed an academic interest in North American standards of beauty and the objectification of women, and I soon began to examine the conflict between the mind’s will and the body’s appetite through my artwork.  I continue this exploration of our complex and often fraught relationship with food through my sculpture, paintings, collages and photographs. I am specifically interested in the power and mythology of meat and how it represents men as powerful (for example: as hunters, carvers, grillers) and women as weak (for example: as it is expressed in our language- chick, (fat) cow, (old) crow etc..). Much of my work juxtaposes images of meat and dead animals with materials and processes that are traditionally female (fabric, needlepoint, organic shapes). This contradiction of subject with a method and art form that is traditionally seen as women’s work explores gender stereotypes, objectivity, display and beauty as well as power, virility and control. Cakes, sweets and jello/cake moulds sometimes make their way in my work as well. To me, cakes are similar to meat as well as meats opposite. When meat is associated with strength it is considered masculine and cake is it's opposite- feminine.  Both, meat and cake, can be repulsive and attractive as well as unnecessary as a food source yet deeply delicious and fulfilling. 

 

Black and white Photograph, 1998, 20"x 16"

Black and white Photograph, 1998, 20"x 16"