Following my thoughts on how our life experiences shape us I wanted to make unit four personal to me.
At the time I was dealing with comments my boyfriend had said to me which impacted on my self esteem. I looked at the work of artist Zoe Buckman and her ‘Every Curve’ collection which is based on derogatory comments found in hip hop artists such as Tupac and Biggie Smalls. I incorporated the use of embroidery text and made it my own. By using handkerchieves to represent how I felt about the things that were being said as I was subjected to observations on my physical appearance by someone who I was in a relationship with. It was difficult to hear. Each handkerchief records something that was said and it was a useful way to deal with the feelings of humiliation.
I found using my own experiences and recording things that hurt me helped me get over these comments and judgments. They also challenged the speaker.
After making these handkerchieves I wanted to continue focussing on the personal and looked to things that still I find difficult in my own family, whether it is my dad getting a new girlfriend or Christmas arrangements. It has been an interesting and challenging process.
I looked at the idea of a bride originally, how girls are raised on a diet of this ideal and then I thought about the struggles women can have. How divorce plays out in a family dynamic seems to illustrate how difficult life can be for women when they have children. As my ideas progressed I began thinking more into my own family dynamic and how my parents were not married and my mum had to take over the lion share of parenting as their relationship fell apart.
My mock up used extracts from poems by Carol Ann Duffy, John Keats and Christina Rossetti as well as my own previously hidden emotions. This progressed to thinking deeply about myself as a child and being heartbroken by my parents separating and how things changed. A child sees things in soft focus and as we grow and become aware things fall in to sharp and painful details. I used text at a distance in blurred movements and then close up detail of words such as ‘broken home’ and ‘emotionally unavailable’ to illustrate this.