Not Your Baby

Art can creates an alternative context for dialogue on issues that elsewhere divide us. Since the inauguration there has been a looming threat in the air in regards to reproductive rights. For example Roe v. Wade, is a law that younger women, like myself, take for granted as a basic human right. The objects I have petrified and sculpted, navigate the complexities of traditional femininity and female empowerment. Within this dynamic, I investigate Paradoxes with the prescribed characteristics of femininity that continue to be espoused in Western society. For example: women are gentle, yet also hysterical; nurturing, yet frail, or chaste, yet seductive. I explore these dualities that are often at odds with each other. My objects reflect a grossly generalized patriarchal narrative that perpetuates the idea that women are simply a binary of characteristics. The beautification of gender specific objects, speaks to this complicated narrative around the nature of femininity. These works address the idea that in our society, women are given very little agency or voice in shaping a true picture of who or what women are.

In regards to the wall hanging piece, this specific method of making, combined with the fragility of porcelain, will inevitably shatter, however ceramics once it has been fired will never fully decompose. I hope that the ephemeral quality of this work is similar to the looming anxiety and fear that some of the country is experiencing. Since the recent election it feels like we has dramatically regressed to a time before I was born. For example in the 80s, artists like Barbara Kruger, were also making work in support of reproductive freedom, Untitled (My Body as a Battle Ground). Works like these, feels just as relevant in 2017 as it did in 1989. I’ve intended this work to be both direct and timeless, particularly the porcelain wall hanging garments, to serve as physical markers to remind us of these political atrocities, and prevent future amnesia.

My intentions of fusing the masculine trope symbolically channeled through boxing gloves, with the creamy satin glaze demonstrate the endurance and and fight of women, unafraid to be woven together in unity. However this work speaks to both the power and resilience of women as well as the beaten down affect that women often face each day. This work is meant to serve as cultural memory of this moment in history, recorded in porcelain, to demonstrate some of the complexities of our time.


Written by Jen Dwyer

To learn more about Jen Dwyer and her work, you can find her link here. She has two exhibitions going on in New York City here and here.