Yesterday I asked members of my facebook fan site to post links to their websites. I knew I had a lot of artists on my fan site, but I was impressed by the quality of the art websites that were posted! I've decided to do a Sunday Feature every week to promote the creative work of these awesome people.
PRINT-BASED INSTALLATION (LITHOGRAPHY), 2009-10.
I chose to feature Jennifer Linton
partly because of the domestic subject matter she employs. Given my current lifestyle and passions I find the domestic scenes fascinating, beautiful and disturbing all at once. I love the skill and care took with this particular installation- the Disobedient Dollhouse.
She writes:"The idealized view of domesticity that informed my childhood dollhouse is reconfigured by my adult self as a place much more complex, even contradictory, in nature. In stark contrast to the innocuous role-playing of childhood — when one could ‘play Mommy’ — as an actual parent, the actions I take have real life consequences."
This closeup I find particularly riveting. It reminds me of late nights with a squalling infant. The baby bird suggests this endless need and insatiable quality of a new baby. I like the subversive quality of the work. I feel it's important to acknowledge as mothers that things are not perfect, not easy. The Dollhouse seems to reflect some of the difficulty of motherhood, and the conflicts between our ideals vs. the reality of the situation. Jennifer writes:"Contemporary dollhouses are decidedly not contemporary in their motifs, with the historic splendor of wealthy Victorian homes being the most frequently represented style amongst current dollhouse enthusiasts. In The Disobedient Dollhouse, I recreated the highly-detailed interiors of a Victorian-style dollhouse, self-consciously aware of the storybook view of domesticity they often conjure. While a trace of nostalgia is detectible in my project, a tension also exists in the work that simultaneously disrupts the easy consumption of these same nostalgic images. A tactic of subversion has been employed as a means of rebellion against the construction a sentimentalized view of domesticity."
"For instance, although the conventional Victorian domestic scene of a woman playing piano has been dutifully rendered, the woman depicted is a hybrid creature with the head of a bird. A chair located in the same room as the bird-headed woman mysteriously sprouts twisted floral vines that snake up the back wall. Gigantic insects infiltrate the room and swarm across the ornate damask wallpaper like a strange, inexplicable virus. These hybrid monsters, giant insects and fantastic vegetal growths disturb the inherent sentimentality of nostalgia and propose a dark, secret world that churns just beneath the veneer of domestic perfection."
Something I found really impressive was the exquisite detail of the work. The level of craftsmanship, the skill and the precision of the final piece is awe inspiring. I find work like this speaks to me as a mother- it acknowledges the intricacy of the role, the tension and the complicated aspects of motherhood. It questions tradition but also presents a very beautiful, mysterious and perplexing vision of motherhood.