For my Art History Essay I discussed Linda Nochlins ‘Why have there been no great women artists?’ and Lucy. R. Lippards ‘Sweeping Exchanges: The contribution of Feminism to the Art of the 1970’s’ in relation to Judy Chicagos ‘The Dinner Party’ 1979. Whilst researching and writing about feminism, feminist art and the society we live in today, it exposed me to the meaning of what I want my artwork to hold. The purpose and drive behind feminist artwork gives it a pull factor that I want people to experience with my work, to understand the challenges there are for women/artists.
With my love for the natural world and weather, I decided I wanted to combine these with my feminist ideology, not only representing my ideas, but also producing conservationally intriguing artwork. When researching artists that could inspire me, I discovered the art movement of Ecofeminism – ‘also called ecological feminism, branch of feminism that examines the connections between women and nature.’ (1) and ‘The main issues Ecofeminism aims to address revolve around the effects of a “Eurocentric capitalist patriarchal culture built on the domination of nature, and the domination of woman ‘as nature’ (2). The emergence of ecofeminism came from its philosophy in the 1970’s, with key writers such as Carolyn Merchant, Val Plumwood and Donna Haraway.
Many parallels are made between women and nature, however, I would like to focus on how, although both women and nature must be respected, they simultaneously possess an intense and powerful force that can be awe-inspiring when tested.
I will go into more detail within my artist research pages but a few ecofeminist artists that inspire me are:
- Virginia Katz (Mixed mediums)
- Betsy Damon (Mixed mediums)
- Aviva Rahmani (Sculpture/Photography)
- Shai Zakai (Photography)
Virginia Katz is the ecofeminist artist that attracted me the most due to the versatility, boldness and power behind each and every piece of work she creates. The amalgamation of weather/nature and feminism is breath-taking, revealing enticing paintings, photographs and sculptures that inspire me to achieve the same. Paintings in particular that inspire me include the ‘Into the Abyss’ series completed in 2017 as well as the ‘Expanse’ series in 2019.
Overall, the movement and art history of Ecofeminism is something I will be strongly incorporating into my painting project this term. I want to focus on the power of women and nature and how this can be represented through landscapes, abstract ideas and different mediums and textures.
(2) Salleh, Ariel (1997). Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx, and the postmodern. London: Zed Books Ltd. p. 12.