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Creative Research Lab

Plots and Schemes - April 2005

sculpture by Jade Walker

Jade Walker
Figure One, 2005
fabric, ironing board
approx. 48" x 48" x 60"

My work consists of a personal struggle with feminism, binaries within gender, technique, spectatorship, abstraction, and narrative. I am interested in taking a closer look at the ideology of American society with respect to the image of woman and how that affects my work.

Techniques such as embroidery, sewing, and other types of needlework seem paired with a past time in history when home décor, clothing, and ornamentation were their sole purposes and practiced by women at home. the challenge I face is to modify these techniques and use them as a tool and not as a means to an end. My obsessive handiwork is a way to show expression, like marks on a canvas. A rip or tear in the fabric and a tight seamless stitch visually evoke different emotions. In some cases it isn't the obvious finishing tactics but the construction of the work; pieced together, photographic images, and fabric choices; silks or rugged flannel blankets.

There are many social conventions that inform the way power is divided between the sexes. Historically, these divisions such as domestic endeavors and pursuing a career, physical weakness and strength, femininity and masculinity have been clearly delineated between men and women. As that aspect of our society changes rapidly, so are our individual roles inside the home and out, leaving a space between the past roles of women and men. the dynamics of the terms, the separation of these categories, and the past, which has presented us with this ideology, are the source of my work.