About Female Merit Badges
Here's an artist's statement* for you:

My iconography depicts notions of femininity and events originating in childhood that continue to influence female identity and sense of well-being. Embroidery, a unique but time-intensive form of mark-making, was formerly considered an essential part of a well-bred lady's training and associated with the long feminine history of anonymity and confinement. Emblems and badges indicate rank, authority, achievement and behavior ideals. I've combined these elements to create "female merit badges."

I include biological issues and societal expectations based on gender, especially the myriad physical manipulations that women undergo to achieve cultural ideals of beauty. I've created merit badges about weight watching, shaving your legs, and wearing makeup, and made tiny replicas of a birth control pill pack and pregnancy test. The scale and meticulousness of the work reflects my own upbringing and impressions of female experience in our culture.

Emblem books and symbol-laden imagery from the Middle Ages and Renaissance have been a big influence on my work. With my latest explorations I've been trying to make connections between the antiquated and contemporary, and the handmade and technology-based.

About the work main page

Main Page

*The artist's statement usually consists of a written description of a paragraph or two about what an artist's intention might be. They can be quite pretentious in tone while saying nothing, and, even worse, indicate how little the work of the artist's work can speak for itself. I like them anyway, because a well-written statement provides authentic insight into the work.