Gender neutral

In this collection I question gendered social constructs by drawing attention to accepted gender ideals through concepts such as exaggeration, parody, paradox and contradiction. In so doing I reveal alternative possibilities to dominant assumptions that restrict and control.

My intention is to expose the social constructs of gender which have been reified and appear natural. I provide insight into that which has been obscured, by disturbing and disrupting the accepted social norm. For example I use lace, beads, embroidery and silky diaphanous fabric, traditionally considered feminine elements to make up the pale white garments.

These garments speak to the social ideal of heterosexual marriage, family and patriarchy. I therefore manipulate the feminine elements into a masculine context to blur the boundaries and integrate the binaries and polarities of male and female. In juxtapositioning male/female associations I disrupt illegitimate conceptions of clearly delineated masculine/feminine roles and perceptions of the norm.

The exaggerated use of height represents imposing power and strength, however the high platform shoes cause dysfunctional movement and immobility thus parodying the virility of the dominant male figure. I use masks to create a liminal space where paradoxically, concealment of the face liberates the inner person to embrace

difference and reveal the inner taboos, the forbidden and the unacceptable. A space created where imagined alternatives and possibilities can be inscribed on the surface of the body without fear.

In this collection I aim to undo, uncover and dispossess the prescriptions that are dictated by conventional habits and society. I communicate an openness to alternate gender possibilities normally withheld or impossible. I encourage liberating oneself from rigid prescriptions by being honest and accepting of others and one’s own differences. This collection speaks of an individual that is confident, cuts through pretense and is emotionally evolved to operate with integrity.