Perfectly Imperfect was exhibited at The Mill, 154 Angas Street, Adelaide from mid-January to mid-February 2020. It was presented as part of the 2020 SALA Festival at Physio First, 129c Goodwood Road during August.
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All my life I’ve been taught to behave in a certain ways. I feel that I am perceived based on my ability to fit in, and to abide by the rules of society. That my looks are more important than my humour, my assertiveness, and my personality. That speaking out is unfeminine.
In its own unique way my flawed body is perfect – it is Perfectly Imperfect. Charlotte Brontë, writing in 1847 under the male pseudonym Currer Bell, wrote to the “carping few” dissenters in the preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre: “Conventionality is not morality” and “appearance should not be mistaken for truth”. Behaving in expected ways does not make me moral.
Gendered roles are socially constructed, and enforced by the dominant patriarchal society. Domestic inequality continues, with women generally still undertaking a greater proportion of housework than their male partners. Women, not men, are judged on their housekeeping standards.
Domestic implements connote housework, and in turn; women’s work. Subverting the viewer’s expectations via the use of performance and humour are critical elements of Perfectly Imperfect. When I am at a geographical distance from my home and domestic responsibilities, I am creatively inspired by the natural world. The detritus of abandoned household objects discovered on suburban footpaths drives me to make images outside of accepted norms. Traveling to remote parts of Australia, I do not need the domestic items I carry, but they are a reminder of the societal expectations that weigh me down.
Cultural constructs can be escaped, and through my performance in Perfectly Imperfect I seek to do just that, with the aim of brief personal liberation from constraint.
Installation and exhibition photos from The Mill exhibition and artist talk, Jan-Feb 2020
Video detailing my work and artistic processes