mary janes

My Mary Janes sculptures are inspired by the cultural pressures felt by many, but particularly women, whose stifling restrictions permeate into all the physical spaces of their world. Girls are coached to accommodate and impress; and domesticity is valued as moral character where impeccably constructed appearances fall within the limits of acceptable behavior.

I find my muses while trolling flea markets. Little girls sporting their Mary Jane shoes, traditional low cut shoes for girls with a strap, and women postured in proper dress. Most of these figures were manufactured mid 20th century during a wave of repressive sexist culture that seems to be rebounding today.

All are tightly bound with yarn around the head and torso, masking identities and with hands breaking out of the fray. The threads form symmetrical global shapes resembling balls of yarn, a common domestic symbol. The figures are playful yet quietly disturbing with their ambiguous and still stances.