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Birds of Paradise

 
Created: March 2016  
Size: 133 cm x 200 cm  
Medium:
intaglio, woodblock
 
Description:
This work forms part of an ongoing exploration of the intersections and boundaries between the artist as mother, the domestic sphere, and evolving representations of childhood in the media.

The softground with a la poupee backing has a gentle floral motif reminiscent of wallpaper from the era when the modern concept of childhood first evolved, intertwined with imagery of Toddlers and Tiaras-style beauty pageants. Transforming their kitsch, glitzy costumes into something reminiscent of the beautiful plumage of the birds of paradise, but clothing them in the feathers traditionally seen as a commodity questions the objectification of our daughters and reflects societal pressure to prioritise physical beauty.

The wood-grained texture of the silhouette (the flattened grain itself participating in an ongoing dialogue between conservation and consumption), encapsulates my children playing in a self-built fort, carefree and unconstrained by commercialized constructions of gender or sexuality
 
     
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