So this is Part 2 of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ‘Masterpiece’. Part 1 can be viewed here: http://dawnwhitehand.com/2013/08/01/weekly-photo-challenge-masterpieces/
Responding to the prompt was not an easy task…. for starters what is “judged” as a “masterpiece” – AND as a consequence of that: what is with the gendered language!! Masterpiece is one of the few remaining words that has remained de-gendered.
HHmmm… what is ‘gendered language’ you ask?? Well, here are some examples (I’ll start with the big one):
craftsman – craftsperson
mailman – mail delivery person
the list continues- I’m sure you get the drift…
Why don’t we notice these words in everyday life you ask? And what is the big deal anyway?
Hmmm, I am glad you asked…
Lets look at the history of language – no this is not going to be a ranting history lesson, just a brief overview. I will include some links at the end of this post for anyone that wants to research this topic further 🙂
So…. ‘history of language’:invented by the guys with fire (coz the girls were busy feeding the kids)
Evolved to some storytelling via rock painting and sand painting, also by the guys coz the girls were busy feeding the kids
Fast forward a few hundred centuries, and the guys decided they could plant seeds, and therefore own/steal land – the girls were STILL busy feeding babies…
And then came the Renaissance – science and logic over religion, understanding and humanity, equality for all – ummm, if you were a male, or white, or upper middle class ; gee, funny thing that renaissance!!
So fast forward to now!! Given that we have had a crash course in ‘his’tory I guess you , the reader, may be wary of what I am going to post….do not be afeared!!
I am going to post an artist that I have admired since I first learnt of her decades ago: Artemisia Gentileschi. A painter strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible – victims, suicides, warriors – Artemisia’s works were until recently attributed to her father. It was not acceptable for women to paint during the 17th century, let alone be better at it than her peers! More info on Artemisia can be found here.
The work I have always loved of her’s is her interpretation of Judith Slaying Holofernes. I remember writing about this painting in an undergrad essay for art history about feminism in art.
And then I saw this work at the Uffizzi in Florence in real life, and I must say my heart skipped a beat, after loving this artist for so long – and the real life viewing did not let me down!!
So…. this is my masterpiece!!
Further contributions to this WordPress weekly photo challenge can be viewed here:
This video is a walk through (as the viewer would experience it) of my PhD installation which consisted of sculptural ceramics installed in the natural environment at my property in Dunnstown, Victoria, Australia.
The research and subsequent installation was based within a feminist framework, supported by the theories of new physics and evolutionary psychology which purports recognition of universal symbols and universal connections.
Clay was used as an organic material to capture the innate connections and nuances that humans have to the environment.
Installation as an art method was used to create an environment which could act as a conduit to the viewer re-establishing their inborn understanding of their place in the universe.