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Artist Blog: Ann Dawkins - Things I Do And Do Not Need!

Things I Need: Paint and a World Full of Strong and Empowered Women

Things I Do Not Need: An Engagement Ring

I have often felt that the world attempts to define me by my relationship to the men in my life. The work I currently have displayed at 1619 Flux Gallery is my examination of societal pressures to be an object, a decoration, and a jewel. These ideas of what it means to be a woman are extremely limiting and suffocating. They don’t leave room for healthy manifestations of ego, competition, and ambition. Society tells me that I have to get married in order to perform my gender role successfully; that I need romantic love to be happy.

As a woman, I also have a complex relationship with my body. It affects the way that I am perceived by the world, and the way that I view myself. My work questions a society that places such high importance on the decorative worth of women, leaving them to critique and dissect their appearance as though it is an enemy. This unhealthy bodily obsession can leave a woman feeling trapped in her own flesh, unable to transcend above a cruel physical world.

Through the process of making this work I have found strength and self-reliance, and my hope is to pass those feelings on to my viewers. The women in my life are a source of constant inspiration, and I may not need an engagement ring, but I do need them.

Image: "Libby"

By Ann Dawkins


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