Too often women must choose between having a family and their career. If she decides that she wants to do both she is seen as a failure in both; she cannot be a good mother if she is busy with a career and she cannot be a good professional if she is busy having children.
Crafts are not seen in the same way art is; it is considered less valuable. It is taken as it is with no significance taken beyond its use. For example, a scarf is looked as a decorative object or for warmth but rarely does anyone look at how tight the knots are or give any depth to its characteristics that they do for something like a painting. The way people view crafts is a reflection of the way they view women and contrast the way they see men and art. There is a need to distinguish between arts and crafts that results in crafts being seen as inferior.
Women have been using crafts in order to send messages, tell a story, or for political purposes. Quilts were made during Women’s Rights Movement and about the slave trade; they made quilts that had on it themes that related to issues of their time. The quilt is an example of how something that is often used in the private sphere by women can be used to depict an issue of the public sphere.
What I have created takes the idea of making a quilt and combines it with an apron. An apron is something a woman puts on when doing her domestic duties. The apron has become a symbol of domesticity. Once a women has an apron on she is incapable of doing anything that does not center around her home. The apron acts as a handicap since it renders her inable to do anything else successfully. The apron is in the shape of the figure that is usually placed in front of bathrooms; it is a generic image.
In taking two ideas that are thought to exist separately and putting them together creates a new idea. It merges two realities creating one and showing that both can exist together. It is important to note that both do not merely co-exist but that they are balanced and can come together and create harmony for those women who chose. There are white figures that show the stages of life that women are expected to go through. Childhood, Marriage, Motherhood, and being and Elderly all these stages require a submissive women to fill the roles. They are stages that do not allow women to go on any different path.
At the bottom there is three images of women dancing. There is freedom in their positions that are not associated with the roles they are expected to fulfill. Unlike the white figures each of them have their own patterns that show how every woman is different. But they exist on the same apron which means that they can be balanced with the expected stages if a woman chooses. Women should not feel like they have two identities which they must fight to choose.
Ringgold, F. (1999). The invisible princess. New York: Crown Publishers.
Robinson, S. (1982). Contemporary Quilting. Worcester: Davis Publications.