2 images:  1  ·  2 

Breast Plate

Mixed Media - Human and synthetic hair, cotton thread on canvas

Exhibited:
White Dress Narratives/Pure Power group exhibition, Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, Victoria as part of the 2018 Ventana Fiesta, a Latin-American Arts festival focusing on women in the arts.
Degrees of Refinement group exhibition, Articulate Project Space, Sydney, NSW 2018

Breast Plate

Mixed Media - Human and synthetic hair, cotton thread on canvas (detail)

Exhibited:
White Dress Narratives/Pure Power group exhibition, Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, Victoria as part of the 2018 Ventana Fiesta, a Latin-American Arts festival focusing on women in the arts.
Degrees of Refinement group exhibition, Articulate Project Space, Sydney, NSW 2018

IBS Dress (Irritable Bridal Syndrome)

Hair, human and synthetic, has been carefully layered on the blank canvas to mimic the layered cultural symbolism of both hair and the white wedding dress.

Hair is simultaneously subject (on your head), object (on someone else's head) and abject (on the salon floor as waste, or in your food)... Hair embodies desire and disgust... It can be extremely irritating when it tickles your skin... Culturally, it's embraced and reviled... As consumers we invest vast amounts of time/money making our crowning glory shine, or removing 'unsightly' armpit/pubic hair... In some cultures hair needs to be covered or hidden completely...

Similarly, the white wedding dress is a loaded signifier, as a symbol of purity, virginity, innocence, but with hope, and potential... As desire waxes and wanes during a marriage, this symbolism is often eroded by small, irritable, unfulfilled frustrations, potentially escalating to anger and violence hidden behind the facade... The white wedding dress signifies a 'commodity' being transferred from ownership of one male (father of the bride) to another (bridegroom)... A bride can become an extremely irritable 'bridezilla' when dealing with the pressures of organising her wedding... The white dress becomes something much darker, but with wisps and strands of humour and irony...

White Dress Narratives is a continuation of the work of African-American artist Adrienne Wheeler, who visited Melbourne as an artist-in-residence at the Frankston Arts Centre. Adrienne invited a number of women to contribute to the project. Each artist was given a white dress blank canvas, to decorate according to our individual perspectives/ interpretations of the white dress - as communion dress, debutante dress, wedding dress... There were 17 decorated dresses in the White Dress Narratives/Pure Power exhibition. The original white dress was hand-made for Adrienne's mother's year 8 graduation, and the template was cut from the original dress. This is her ongoing project and has been exhibited in different formats in many locations.

Links: 
http://gatewaystonewark.com/portraits/artists/adrienne-wheeler/

Artists involved:
Valeria Benavides, Nikita Dunovits-Ferrier, Tania Ferrier, Kathleen Gonzalez, Roxana Fuentes, Sandra Hill, Stephanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe, Mariana Pulgini, Jenny Ramirez, Negin Sharifzadeh, Carly Sheppard, Anabela Sobrinho, Adrienne Wheeler