Whilst making more 3D Relief Moulds in my self-directed study time, I suddenly realised the connection between my project brief and my interest in gender / gender identity. I have been making pieces that respectfully rotate around certain aspects of the body, such as my face maquettes in wood and my handprints in clay/plaster.
Our bodies are essentially tools; useable. And they are beautiful. For example, we use our hands for everything. Writing, making, cooking, opening doors, typing etc. Our handprints are all individual and unique; like any form of artwork.
I feel like my body is a tool in a way, it belongs to me. It is mine to look after. I inhabit my tool; it is always with me, it’s useful, powerful. Amazing and self-contained, resourceful. It’s beautiful.
I posted up a status on Facebook with the second paragraph, and with people’s permission, I am able to use their feedback. The responses I got were interesting and resourceful. In a way, they’re contextual; research.
Ideally, I want to create casts of hands, feet and arms, using alginate, bronze, plaster, anything I can make a mould out of! I want to try everything. And I want the moulds to be of opposite genders, because I want people to work out which hand cast or foot cast belongs to which gender, without anything else stating which one is which, as I am pretty confident that opposite genders are noticeable through appearance.
For example, a trans guy’s hands and/or feet may be smaller than that of a cismale’s. Or vice versa. I want my work to explain that appearances should not be the only way you tell someone’s gender, because there are a lot of transgender and non-binary as well as genderfluid people in our community and misgendering someone in that community can be quite detrimental to their wellbeing.