Trapped and the vulnerability of freedom. From listening and discussing experiences of anxiety with a variety of people descriptions of layers to the emotion seemed to be a common connection. Even when growing and breaking out of the caged enclosure of one layer, there always seems to be another cage and another enclosure. I chose to use egg shells and wire in my project because I wanted to convey how the delicate and fragile natures of the person's vulnerability is contrasting to the harsh but also protective qualities of that of the cage. I used clay for this piece as it is highly breakable but also when fired the pieces are given an aspect of permanence as they will remain like scars. The surface textures describe the natures of anxiety as it bubbles up to the surface, this ebb and flow of panic and dread is often described by those with anxiety as contrasting to that of the relaxing nature of the ocean. This blue in the center of my pieces represents the hope of growth and the overcoming of these challenges faced by people suffering from anxiety.
The Forgotton Objects Series
When exploring the Botanical Gardens in Dublin I found that there was an overwhelming sense of femininity in that of the architecture and within the forms of the flowers and foliage. Botany was the first scientific field of study that was socially acceptable for a woman to enter and contribute to. However, women in science and throughout history have often been eased or forgotten despite having faced many challenges to learn and explore the world around us. I found the strength these women had to break beyond their barriers amazing, they continued to contribute to the world often regardless of recognition. My pieces wanted to link the shapes of dresses, hair styles and other objects associated with femininity with that of natural shapes seen in lilies, ferns and the smaller details of foliage. The pieces are very fragile and precious, when held they are to be cupped with the hands. Their delicate nature brings a protective feeling over the holder which in its own right is very powerful. Women despite often being perceived as delicate and breakable in my experience hold strength and power in a way that cannot always be seen. I wanted to remind people of the work and contributions these women made and how their work opened the avenue of more women pursuing science and other fields of practice that have previously been blocked to them. Despite being forgotten, the strength of these women continues in the explorations of women today.
The aim of my project is to convey the break of the expectations of woman and the limitations of that of the ‘domestic woman’s place’. With each of plates there is a seed like shape which the roots gradually grow outwards from. These roots build the foundations of which the breaking away from these constraints are based. The roots are nurtured by the actions and the contributions woman of the past have made towards fields that are dominated by men, breaking the stereotypes, expectations and improving the climate of acceptance for the next woman who decides to pursue these paths. While these actions and these roots may not be visible from the surface this growth is incredibly important and each step is a step further upwards to the glass ceiling.