Womanly. My goal is to recontextualize our understanding of what it is to be “womanly” and some of the negative assertions that it can carry by memorializing all things feminine. In my current body of work, I am focusing on more female centered “Crafts” that are usually seen as a feminine hobby, such as clothing patterns from the classic pinup eras and quilt work from rural to modern America. I take a more “modern” approach when working with these broad “craft” ideas through more suggestive imagery and nontraditional mediums such as clay. This is to pay homage to all the bad and good girls of history.
Painting with underglazes on clay forms I create somewhat of a faux fabric design and pattern on traditionally non fabric surfaces. This is to flirt with the idea of permanence for textiles along with a different way to view delicate surfaces. Using a quilt made from ceramic will stand as a permanent tribute to past female quilters, sewers, and craftswomen of which I come from a long line of. With each side meant to symbolize a different era for women in the art world I draw on imagery from my own childhood looking at the quilts my grandmother made for one side of the quilt. While the other side has more of my own designs that will come across as nostalgic and jarring. By melding the old and new helps me create a sense of timelessness that can be experienced through the generations.
With the platters adorned with fruit plaid print mounted to the wall (and lovingly dubbed as a plaidder), they become a stand in and homage to the women in the public eye of the past. Being displayed as an overtly sexual being and commodified as such for the male viewer and consumer, women have constantly fought to be seen as something other than a sex symbol or baby maker. By taking away the image of the woman and having fruit stand in gives back some power to women by reclaiming how we want to be seen and how we want to be presented. The assemblage of the plaidder wall installation will also create a tribute to current and future women in the arts showing that a craft can be art and vice versa.
Emily Mulvaney will be receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics this coming May 2023. Coming from a military family, Emily was able to experience a variety of different states, countries, and cultures around the world during travels with her family. These travels exposed her to an assortment of varying people and art, sparking her creative inspiration. As a female artist, Emily has become well acquainted with how women are depicted in art, in particular through the male gaze. In her work, Emily focuses on feminine topics and imagery to create both figurative sculptures and ceramic paintings as seen through the lens of the female gaze. Although clay is Emily’s chosen medium because of its permanence and ability to withstand the test of time, she is not shy to branch out into the use of other mediums to capture her artist’s vision. Emily’s goal is to pay homage to all the good and bad girls that came before her.