Ilze Bebris, Kiku Hawkes, Marcia Pitch, Ruth Scheuing, Catherine M. Stewart
Five female artists explore the reality of inhabiting a woman’s body, surprising fashion, and space travel through assemblage, photography, weaving, textiles, printmaking and media. The artists celebrate achievements of women in science, play with notions of bodies in space and take a look at how the world of fashion can form invisible barriers stopping women from becoming equals in society.
Ilze Bebris’ fabric assemblage titled, ‘Shameless’ acts as a metaphor for the fragmented woman’s body and unpacks how women’s bodies tend to exist as sites of exaggerated and commodified desire. Also working with fabric, Catherine M. Stewart’s handmade gown is a tribute to Katherine Johnson, the brilliant mathematician whose complex calculations of orbital mechanics were crucial to the success of NASA’s first space missions. On display alongside the gown are Stewart’s first in a series of archival inkjet prints that combine the visual languages of orbital mechanics, domestic dressmaking, and the artist’s private photographic archive. Kiku Hawkes will display 3 large, collaged cyanotype prints that integrate layers of translucent antique and vintage dress patterns with Hubble Telescope images, alchemical woodcuts and astronomical data. Ruth Scheuing uses a digital Jacquard loom to explore Victorian fashion when women’s clothing acts in unexpected ways. Marcia Pitch’s multi-object installation is inspired by the first all-female spacewalk that was cancelled due to a lack of appropriately constructed spacesuits for women. Pitch uses found materials, detritus and garbage reconstructed to resemble space debris.