How we cover ourselves, whether we choose to conform to society’s norms and stereotypical expectations and/ or as a means of individual expression, has an impact on how we are perceived through the eyes of others. This response to social expectation and individual expression has challenged women throughout history. My intrigue with women’s garments and female identity carries through most of my work.
The ballet tutu becomes the typecast garment in this latest piece. The tutu represents women’s social cover, and the contrast of the women shown indicates how universal this issue is for women; we see a mix of artists, secretaries, high school students, mothers, writers, prostitutes, etc., and can more readily question how or why this symbol of ultimate femininity came to exist. Many of us grew up with this ballerina syndrome and society’s expectations as to how we should be perceived. My interest in the ballet, keeping aside its validation as an art form, questions how women appear in this costume.