‘Ways to be a Woman’, shows a representative female figure. She is drawn in swirling lines that recall contour lines on a map. Like place names, descriptive terms are incorporated into the figure – as if they are part of her very being. The figure is surrounded by flowers, symbolising the common perceptions of fertility, beauty and elegance.
Look closer though and there are spiders lurking on the flowers. They represent the problematic notion of these perceptions. Of course women can be these things, but they can also be so much more – or less. To be female doesn’t necessarily mean you must be fertile, beautiful or elegant. How many more ways are there? A thousand and more! We are all so much more than the labels assigned to us.
This piece is a glass appliqué with painted elements on solid opalescent glass. The drawing is achieved with vitreous glass paint and a dip pen and the figure is capped with a contour fused layer of clear glass. I wanted to make a wall mounted glass piece that would not require a lightbox.