HISTORIES: PERSONAL NARRATIVES: REGINA’S WOMEN CERAMISTS
Looks at the feminist experience and influences on Women Ceramists in Regina Clay
Run Time: 1:49 | File size: 5.0 MB
Nearly half the artists selected for Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making are women, a fact which suggests the need for a closer look at their collective contribution. With feminism in the air during the sixties and seventies, it is not surprising that artists like Beth Hone and Margaret Keelan identified themselves with the women's movement. Hone's porcelain fungi "flowers" and Keelan's eerily seductive bird-women both subvert stereotypes of feminine beauty. However, not all of the women artists felt the same way. Ann James' highly charged social commentary on subjects like prostitution suggests a feminist viewpoint; however, the artist vigorously rejected this label whenever it was applied. The work of the other Regina clay women shows a sympathy with concerns that were prevalent among feminist artists of the time. One sees this in Marilyn Levine's references to the body in her clay articles of clothing, in Maija Peeples-Bright's use of clay and fibre in her crocheted "Woofishes," and even in Lorraine Malach's collaborative approach to mural making. However, like James, these artists did not identify themselves with feminism. One thing which can be noted about the women in this exhibition is that the regionalist themes that marked the work of many of the male artists were absent in their work. Despite this difference, male and female artists were often shown together in various combinations, a fact which points to a more general unifying feature-a concern for personal narratives in clay.