Hannah Smith

Xavier University

I am a prospective BFA student at Xavier University and am currently in my senior year of study with concentrations in Sculpture and Printmaking. Through this combination I am finding innovations in two- and three-dimensional processes and materials which push beyond the confines of traditional practices to achieve conceptual integrity.

My work comments on the state of the female identity in terms of exterior forces that attack this identity. This includes, but is not limited to: abuse, assault, harassment, objectification, dehumanization, and condescension that is deeply ingrained in our everyday society from a long-established patriarchal system. While developing this body of work, several artistic characteristics have become increasingly important to discussing the female identity, perhaps the most important being my incorporation of fiber techniques. Fiber and textiles as a medium has long been considered “women’s work,” by virtue of the textile industry being the initial primary employer of women during the early industrial revolution. Thus, discussing contemporary female oppression by means of a formerly suppressive medium suggests a plausible liberation from this contemporary oppression, just as there is a free-will to using this fiber element, not a societal pressure to do so. While my work is certainly discussing resoundingly negative elements to modern womanhood, my aim is to raise awareness around these gendered offenses in the hopes of moving past them.

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