STATEMENT

The Gibbous Series

My current body of work is The Gibbous Series, exploring mythology and symbolism of St. Brigit, Celtic goddess, in connection to Maya, the ancient Vedic term for illusion of form. Marion Youngblood’s Siderealview Blog assigns each of the nineteen Priestesses of Brigit to the nineteen components of the Great Lunar Year creating “cyclic pattern divinations.” This cyclic pattern can be seen in many forms, for example the naturally occurring DNA helix or sine wave which I include in my composition. This series is comprised of three (24 x 30 x 1.5 in.) portraits on canvas in acrylic and oil.

The Female Gaze Series

My recent body of work is titled The Female Gaze Series, a deconstruction of conventional themes of the female gaze informed by theorist Laura Mulvey’s research. For centuries, "the male gaze" has dominated popular culture with propaganda perpetuating patriarchal dominance in every aspect of American society. In her 2016 TIFF Talks keynote address, film director Jill Soloway champions the cause, challenging the creative industry to "make space for women to take the lead in shaping female protagonism," further observing that "art is self-propaganda ...protagonism is propaganda.”

 

The depth and breadth of this series encompasses my epic journey of female empowerment and the defiance of not being objectified or dismissed. Developing an authentic feminist mythology is crucial to reclaiming the collective female identity. As Barbara S. Lesko writes in The Great Goddesses of Egypt, “Women have worshipped goddesses for far more millennia than they have lived under the patriarchal monotheisms.” My series depicts five large scale (60 x 60 x 2 in.) self-portraits on canvas, amalgamating figurative realism in multiple disciplined processes: photography, digital manipulation, acrylic skins, acrylic casting, and acrylic and oil painting.

The Matriarch Series

The Matriarch Series is an investigation into applying minimal narrative and scale to my art practice. This series was exhibiting during my BFA thesis exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The unexpected loss of the matriarchs of my family has left me with overwhelming grief. An intrinsic part of my grief is related to the realization that I have lost generations of matriarchal family folklore. As I now take up the mantle of matriarch of my family the mythical and ritual that would have accompanied this experience is sadly extinct, along with my family members. The series comprise of an immersive installation of three 5’ x 8’ ft. ledger stones in the style of a white cut out dress made from birch wood. Composed as a triptych, the middle ledger stone elevated and hung by a peg and hanger. Including Mortality, a sculpture of six plaster legs with high heel shoes, stacked on a pedestal replicating broken limbs as a metaphor of my matriarchs’ broken bodies and mortality.

The Acrylic Couture Collection

The Acrylic Couture Collection takes the painting off the wall and onto the fashion show runway by transforming acrylic paint into original textiles and casting a skin of liquid acrylic into original molds and patterns. Since inventing this process, I have pushed the media further and sculpted couture fashion. I manipulate my acrylic skin onto models while documenting these wearable paintings in cinemagraphs, then projected in large scale immersive installations. 

Letitia Hill-SMFA19