Final year project
You owe me a kiss [Read more]
Solidarity in numbers
This piece acts as a platform for the general public to share their own experiences of sexual harassment. By gathering many different stories the piece aims to create a sense of solidarity for those who experience sexual harassment.
Close up of 'Solidarity in numbers'.
This piece links sexual harassment with public spaces and signs. Signs speak with authority and control, telling one what they are meant to do.
Taking sexually harassing comments and placing them in pleasant settings.
Sexual harassing comments on 'cheesy' stickers.
Whilst studying at Loughborough, I have been drawn to expressing my feelings of sexual harassment, which both myself and my friends have experienced whilst being at the University. Through my art, I wanted to protest against the endless verbal sexual harassment we receive regularly and to challenge its acceptance as a social norm and the mindset that perceives it as just ‘harmless laddish banter’.
The two key themes of my work on highlighting and challenging sexual harassment are, ‘solidarity’ and ‘public participation’. The importance of solidarity is comfort through shared experiences and letting others know that they are not alone in their struggle. Also, solidarity is empowering and encourages people to speak out, which, therefore, links to participation, with many voices acting as one big voice. I wanted to invite people to talk about the uninvited interactions they have received. To create an interactive platform upon which the voices and experiences of the general public can be heard, as I believe they are powerful.
Other key theoretical and contextual influences on my work are ‘feminism’ and ‘activism’. Feminism influences my work as it closely links to solidarity. I believe that today's society has become largely numbed to shocking and overtly sexual comments. Not only do I want to create a sense of solidarity with my art, but I also want it to highlight the uncomfortable and unsettling emotions caused by these interactions. Also, most individuals who experience sexual harassment are women. Furthermore, fourth-wave feminism is mainly about speaking out, which is illustrated by the #MeToo movement (a movement which forced the public to confront the ‘not okay’ experiences which many shrug off as just a part of being a woman).
Activism also plays an important role in my work with the fundamental focus being on raising awareness through mass shared experience (information and date), intending to create change. The activist group Guerrilla Girls are a big influenced on me as an artist, as they are unapologetic about their work and the uncomfortable reactions it can have. I am also inspired by their use of mediums, such as digital, posters, stickers, bullet boards.
Finally, I want my work to have a strong emotional effect on my audience, where that may be through solidarity or discomfort due to reality. Art is not about being “pretty” - in the words of Grayson Perry, “Art is where emotions are put into concrete”. It is a platform for inspiring others and creating change, which is what I have hoped to achieve through my research and projects on sexual harassment.
Final year project
You owe me a kiss
In my 3rd year at university, I won a poster competition on how to look after a dog.