After playing about with tights, hair, and researching artists who work with hair, I got an idea. The tights looked like hairy legs which is seen as disgusting, but only for woman? I started looking into artists who work with the female form to question inequality and stereotypes in society.
Mandana Moghaddam uses the same medium as I have to create a sculpture of the female body draped in hair. The long hair represents gender and the idea of what beauty is. According to ancient Arabic ideals, hair should be long, thick, and a rich raven colour which is quite a lot to ask of woman. This is true of woman all round the world as rich glossy hair is a sign of health and fertility but the extreme length of the hair in this sculpture shows just how unrealistic these expectations are.
Lara Schnitger creates female forms in a textile fashion highlighting specific areas of interest of the female body. These areas could be sagging breasts, long legs etc. Although unusual, these sculptures still represent the female body by including these key body parts that may be the only thing that men notice about female bodies. The form of Schnitgers sculpture has inspired me for my own sculpture to help make it appear more feminine to the viewer.
Sarah Lucas was a big influence on my 2nd year tights project and has cropped up again this semester. She also uses tights and sexualises them in a crude but beautiful way. Lucas deals with the male objectification of the female body and instead of portraying the female sculptures as beautiful, she pokes fun at the stereotypes of femininity.
So for now I am not only working with hair, tights and the Grotesque but also the idea of equality. As tights and legs are at the forefront of my sculpture I will be asking why it is disgusting for woman to have hairy legs when our male counterparts can look like Chewbacca and no one will take a second glance. Having hair on our legs is natural, more natural than taking a razor to them, so why is there such a stigma? I wish to highlight this point in my sculpture, to create something that causes the viewer to feel disgust but then to question this feeling as after all, its only fair that men and woman are treated the same, isn’t it? Free the leg hair!