My biomorphic, psychological sculptures reflect my relationship with value judgments of femininity. Linking abstract, bodily forms with modern-day “women’s work,” they marry my resistance to and enjoyment of womanhood.
An Iceberg Between the Shoulder Blades (Burdens) disrupts clichéd feminine predilections for mothering by exploring my internalized judgment that being female is a burden. The bulging form protectively envelopes densely clustered sacs while leaning forward in a weighted, precarious stance.
These mixed media pieces prioritize the inclusion and mutation of everyday materiality and routine actions. They are literally and symbolically connected to the expectations for women that especially provoke me. In creating the work, I enact commonplace motions, such as painting objects with nail polish or carefully placing band-aids on a sculpture. While embodying stereotypical performative femaleness this process also references undervalued labor associated with women. Through this activity, I transform the materials to initially unrecognizable states that ultimately reveal connections to their original function.
Playful and absurd aspects of the work respectively point to the amusing and baffling aspects of the “fairer sex.” Broken Bone Kaleidoscope radiates a humorous tactility and whimsical decoration with macaroni stars and pencil erasers, pointing to the lingering assumption that womenfolk are domestic or crafty. The sculpture’s severed knee form considers the piecemeal way women and others appraise their bodies.
Through dissecting feminine myth and utilizing significant materials and actions, these enigmatic sculptures subversively contribute to an evolving femininity while investigating repetition and mutation as acts of cleansing renewal.
—Meg Stein, 2017