January 23, 2019

What does femininity feel like in 2019?

Emma Selina Blackhall, 22

I am interested in what femininity feels like in 2019. As a child you recognise quickly that life as a girl is not easy, and life as a woman even with the progress of today continues to mean pressure and expectation and potentially less choice; even no choice. As I get older however I have become more aware of femininity as a feeling, not just as a something political or a possible handicap but as something intuitive and celebratory. I’ve been searching for a working embodiment, something which captures the conflicts and harmonies I believe femininity holds and something capable of championing this discourse. The personification of these ideas is really important in my practice, the re-construction of potentially abstract ideas into something familiar within an anonymous space. I created the character Gold Lady/Lady Gold, who sells flowers on the street to other women, as sort of merchant of romance. Visually, the character towers over you, life-sized and powerful – she communicates many natural and social power exchanges; she has qualities of the devout and something more contentious, almost dangerous. For me, I honour the Gold Lady/Lady Gold – her duality is her essence, her tarnished tenderness remains defiant.

Gold Lady/Lady Gold
Image printed on chiffon silk, 2 screens