My main body of research looks deep into how Women are treated in the art world; as artist and/or muse. I am also focussing on how I feel as a Woman artist working today. These ideals of genius and master have become closely associated with masculinity. Man is seen as the divine creator, the intellect for invention and speculation hence why the book of genesis associates the divine right of creativity with men alone, whereas women are seen as the passive and powerless. In art women are present as the object for the male viewer rather than creator. The male artist is in the position of dominance and his speech, view and power is forced upon the viewer.
The more I discovered on how Women have been mocked and ignored within the art world the more disgusted I became. I came to read such important yet challenging writings of Parker and Pollock. The truth is that these issues are still relevant today and they are not to be ignored. I have recently attended a discussion held by The East London Fawcett Group, also known as ELF their recent art audit campaign somewhat depressingly revealed that 31% of artists represented by London galleries are women. Contrastingly the Guardian’s statistics revealed that 61.7% of Fine Art undergraduates are female. Particularly around London I have noticed that women artists are significantly under-represented and there are shameful gender imbalances within the contemporary art world. The majority of galleries and exhibitions around London seem to be exclusive to only male artists.
I have developed a huge interest in the body and Art History. I have become relatively interested in the primitive ideals of beauty. Primitive Venus figurines such as the venus of Willendorf question our contemporary issues with censorship of the body and how we today have developed unrealistic ideals of the body. The body has become a medium in which is closely associated with the 1970’s feminist art movement. Human ideals of body image have changed vigorously throughout history, nothing is satisfactory and realistic images of the human body are insufficient. We have failed to represent a reality of ourselves.
In my work the physicality of the textile piece is important, it directly confronts the viewer. The laborious art of hand and and machine embroidery is traditionally associated with the female. The use of stitch and fabric presents this sense of soft and comforting feminine qualities.
Corie Denby McGowan is first year student who is currently studying a Ba Honours degree in Fine Art specialising in Print and Time-based media at the University of the Arts London, Wimbledon College of Art.
At the moment her chosen body of research looks deep into how Women are treated in the art world; as artist and/or muse. She focus mainly on college, print-making, photography and textile art but endeavours to fully embrace film making within the next few months.