My work explores gender permissions and the challenges that arise from straying from the prescribed norms. It questions the qualities of gender by considering what constitutes masculine and feminine. It critiques stereotypical gender mediums by creating “masculine objects” using “feminine processes” such as crochet, sewing, and applique.
The works shown here focus on the contradiction between medium and subject matter. The objects created were inspired by memories of attempts to be masculine. Men I have known spent much of their time in the garage with tools getting greasy and doing the heavy duty lawn work. They watched Sunday afternoon football on their recliners with the remote in hand. My uncle was a body builder, which to me was the physical epitome of masculinity. I remember my father getting home from work, propping his briefcase on the bed and removing the paperwork. And, I distinctly remember longing to be tall enough to use the urinal in the men’s restroom like the big guys. By crocheting the objects that are linked to these masculine ideas I am breaking down the barrier of traditional gender permissions. The objects are no longer rough and manly, but soft and inviting. They evoke the feminine. The non-traditional sculpting process of crochet allows me to draw attention to the challenges of defining gender identities.