At the tender age of 17, I often found that what I wanted was tied up in a jumble of emotions: desire, fear, need, and confusion.
The experience of wanting to be seen was at odds with the fear of being stared at by men beyond my maturity (now understood as the male gaze). As well as being judged by how I looked, which always seemed wanting. This sculpture is about that experience of the gaze verses the desire to be be seen. Using multiple layers of fired oxides and underglazes, I painted Artemisia Gentileschi’s painting Susanna and the Elders. The artwork depicts a biblical scene, that had previously been painted only by men, usually depicting Susanna as unaware of the elders’ voyeuristic presence, or even as being flirtatious towards their attention of her. Gentileschi painted the incident as a traumatic event depicting Susanna’s distress at being spied on by these older men while bathing naked. I chose this painting because of its relevancy to our time more than four centuries later. Other models for this artwork include family members and stock dress pattern images from the 1960’s.