Pecha Kucha Practice 3

Pecha Kucha Nov 2017

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I came to the Pecha Kucha with a fair idea of my plan for the year. I did feel there was a chance the Tittymama Army might come to a halt as I seem to be hitting walls when it comes to  the engagement and research. I am trying to connect with women of colour and disabled women to communicate their experiences correctly and potentially stir up some engagement and organise workshops for women to make their own figures. Unfortunately, so far, my emails have not been responded to.

There were a number of suggestions for my work such as adding fabric to the sculptures. I think this could be something to play with, especially since I would mostly wear football kits and would hide my bra under my pillow rather than put it in the washing basket. Also, I was questioned about why I worked to conceal the cracks in the clay. I had not really thought about this beyond wanting the sculpture to survive the kiln and how they would be a sign of my inexperience with the material. They could have, however, shown the cracks of the stereotype, the imperfect notion of the ideal, the fragility of the masculinity, and if I am honest, the cracks in my relationship with this person. Maybe next time I will consider leaving them valuable to the narrative.

It was also suggested that I maybe experimented with other media. Maybe paper mache, silicone, padded materials and also how this could be performative. I’m really struggling with how to see all of this, maybe once this sinks in some ideas will arise. I could possibly encounter a creative block as I’ll be too worried about the Tittymamas not living up to their potential. As they are now, I need to think about where they are going to go. I was asked who my audience was and if I’m honest, I have not thought too much about the audience apart from how to bring people in by making them initially see the figures as small, funny, and soft until they get up close. When creating them I have thought more about the women that they represent and giving these people space.

I was asked about how men would see my work as they are who I need to engage to encourage change as women already ‘get it’. I’m not sure that I do need to bring it back to how men see them. Is that the point of what I am saying? It is not always about what men think and see? Can it not just be for the women it is representing? Creating a community and taking up space? It was also mentioned that not all men are like this, and I obviously know this and my work is not meant to be taking aim at all men. I know from the men who have engaged with the work that they have not felt the need to be defensive. I feel there was a clash of opinions, as there will be with this kind of work. It was suggested that being a mother and a mother of boys will make you see things differently. I’m not willing to quieten my experience because I am not mother. It was also mentioned that my peer used to feel as I do but now she is 30 years older and you change as you grow as a woman and you feel differently. I can’t help but feel that these issues might still concern me in 30 years time.

Another suggestion was to perhaps include other experiences to help connect with men, for example, a sculpture of a boy crying. I won’t be doing this for this project as this then opens up my research again and going down the route of personal experience was a way of narrowing it all down. In the future, definitely, I’ve thought about this and also about making pieces to highlight homelessness and animal cruelty.

The last Pecha Kucha helped a lot! I’ve even called meetings with my peers to hold them as a way of trying to see if there is something in my work I am missing, but this time, I feel completely stumped. I’m not sure if this will be the end of the Tittymamas as I know it, which is quite a turnaround as I felt so positive about trying to engage with people; I believed this idea had legs. I know that I am definitely enjoying working with clay and I do want to pursue this route. The Tittymamas could be used to create an animation or maybe even make a giant suit to go walking round the shops, I’m not sure. I could definitely make the models for the animation  but I would not have a clue where to start with the technical aspect of putting it all together. I could see it working as a sort of Jan Svankmajer Dialogue animation where I am tearing away at my changing body. I’m not sure… having ideas as I’m typing.

On to practice 3!

Where to begin… back at the start of Practice 2? Well, I seem to have found exactly where my practice sits with myself. My own experience and my reaction to the blog post on feminism resulting in the death of femininity. I’ve gone with my instinct and begun to use clay to make my work. The army has led me to become more interested in illustrative ceramics. As well as digging my heels in and reaffirming that my broad scope of research in Practice 1 was necessary, I added artists to my research alongside keeping an eye on the necessary ongoing conversations surrounding gender and stereotyping. As I searched for artists it became apparent that it was a challenge to find illustrators that successfully challenged stereotypes beyond the surface (in my opinion). I found myself leaning towards fine artists communicating personal experience such as Louise Bourgeois and David Hockney, artists using a naive approach; Bob Traylor, Jonny Hannah, and literary creatives. Once I had decided to risk the outcome of MA and dive into the ceramic unknown, I began to source contemporary figurative ceramicists and illustrators using ceramics such as Claire Loder, Veronica Cay, Laura Bird, and Cathie Pilkington.


The plan is to continue making the Tittymama army. Ideally I will be connecting with women and collectively making the army. This could prove to be complicated. I will need to be able to afford to hire the location of the workshops and the materials, as well as secure participation. I need to research potential locations and participants and research how to run the workshops successfully. There would be a chance of engaging women from the university itself but it becomes complicated as if I were to hold the workshop it would have to take place in the ceramics room itself. I would have to get the approval of staff and also hope that people would stay late to make the figures. I need to work out exactly what I need to do.


Working with clay itself is proving challenging but satisfying. I was disappointed today to discover a piece I made last week has dried with cracks. I’m sure this is because there was too much moisture added to the slip I used for texture. I need to speak with the technician to see if I can rectify this or what I can do differently next time. I also (stupidly) knocked the head off a piece trying to ensure there was an air hole as the one I originally made shrunk as the piece dried out. It was brought to my attention that I could have made the piece without the bottom being closed. It all seems so obvious now. I’ve been told to start to make my Tittymamas hollow so they can be fired. Any moisture trapped deep inside will cause them to crack when they are fired. They do need to be put into the kiln as they are not strong enough to be transported; after every journey some part has broken off. This is taking a little extra time but not as much as I expected. I am also pressing type into the clay using stamps. I would like to tell some of the women’s stories, but not all. I want the type to be visible but not overpowering the figure.


All in all I feel that what I want to do is not viable for one year. well, six months really as I am part-time. To do one thing well would be better for my course. I need to discuss my ideas for the year with my tutor. My initial thoughts are to take the Tittymamas forward, still work on successfully making a 3D piece the has been fired and glazed so I have the knowledge and experience to take forward. I would like to work on my 2D idea to create a publication that looks like a children’s book but it is really reporting my

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experience with gender and gender stereotypes. I could work on this as a break from the clay. The outcome will be postponed until after the Tittymama piece.

Tittymama Army.

As I work my way through my MA research, I have encountered uncomfortable questions on my own childhood, my feelings, and my experience. I do struggle to find the correct words to communicate my findings at times and took to researching other women’s experiences of rejecting femininity whilst growing up. I hoped to be able to express myself more successfully after encountering similar experiences. Rather than finding what I hoped for, I came across a blog post addressing the so-called Death of Femininity brought on by feminism. The lengthy post attacks feminism and accuses feminism of interfering with the natural biological structure of power and the family unit. Women who are wanting to compete with men and unattractive to men and will live and die alone and are labelled masculine women. Their fertility is questioned. Women are talked about as if they are not individuals and only in relation to men.  The post had 19,188 followers at the time and the comments were as disturbing as the post itself.

In my opinion, as someone who was looking for help to word how and why I was rejecting femininity as a child, feminism is not the problem. As a child I did not feel overly feminine. Old photographs show I had a healthy balance of toys, interests, and clothes. I believe the rejection of my femininity was when I became aware that I did not feel and look like I felt I should to be a ‘proper girl’, and, that there was a hierarchy. Why did my dad always have the last say when my mum done more and knew more? Why, if I acted the same as my dad and liked some of the same things, could I not be like him? I didn’t look like my mum and the boys didn’t like me the way they liked my mum, so I must be more like my dad. Why did my dad tell me I would never be as tall as him? I’m only 2″ shorter. When my body began to change, I struggled. I struggled even more when I found that other people were aware of it. I became my body at a young age. I think this is why the breasts keep reoccurring in my images. My secondary school years were a battle between me wanting to embrace my gender but never feeling like I matched up to the expectations. I wasn’t as slim or attractive as my mum. I had a curvier body than a lot of the girls at school who still looked like girls in their uniform. I am the same body size now as I was when I was around 13. I felt fat. I began to turn to food for comfort and make myself sick repeatedly. I wanted to be attractive to boys, I wore short skirts like the others. On the flip side, I would wear tracksuits, trainers and football shirts. I accentuated my accent like the boys and deepened my voice. I remember I quit GCSE PE as I was trying to run the bleep test with my tracksuit top on. I was so hot that I was bright red in the face and felt sick but I would not remove my jacket in case the others would look at my chest. This struggle with my gender and the expectation with it continued up to my late 20s. I dealt with my eating disorder at about 26, embraced the fact that I didn’t want to look as feminine as my friends with my tattoos and unconventional hair, and brushed off my mum’s concerns about my sexuality and y lack of interest in children. I was OK with who I was. This all happened before my awareness of feminism. I have come to the conclusion it is internalised misogyny.

After rummaging through memories, stumbling across the blog post, hearing people’s comments regarding gender and stereotypes, the man in the pub declaring anyone who hired a woman of childbearing age insane, the friend on social media saying the pay gap doesn’t exist and women don’t want equal opportunities with their partner when it comes to parental leave and job roles, has all added to my belief that women are reduced down to a body. They are judged on what that body looks like, what they do with it, what they don’t do with it. They are sexualised as soon as they grow breasts, later the attention moves to their reproductive organs; if they are using them too much, if they are not using them but having sex for fun, and if they have chosen never to reproduce. Boobs and wombs.

I have began to create a Tittymama Army. I want to represent the women who are not conventionally feminine but still are women. Their femininity is not for people to pass judgement on. Reflecting on the blog post and it’s followers, I would be interested to know how they measure femininity. Is it attractiveness? Is it passiveness? Does a woman being disabled affect the measuring? Or what about women of colour? What is a women can’t bear children, does this affect their femininity? I would like to create enough of these women to fill a room. I am using the colour pallet that is assigned to young girls as an acknowledgement of the early expectation of femininity put on girls which may not represent them as an individual personality. The intention is to draw attention to how women are determined by their body. The finish is crude and intentionally not pretty. They do not have to please the eye. Some are faceless as they are twice removed from society’s expectations. I want the viewer to question whether the bodies are monstrous or is it their viewing of the bodies that is.



Half way through practice 2

It has been quite a while since I last posted. Since practice 1 has passed, I have been acting on the feedback I was given. I am focusing my project on my personal experience. This narrows my focus are but opens it up in other ways. It is helping me to understand my own aversion to gendered consumerism. I am unpacking my own childhood memories and my how I navigated through my own identity journey and body change. As I dealt with the expectations I developed an eating disorder.

At this point, my three points of focus are my own personal experience, my aesthetic approach, and other artists who have made work based on gender and identity.

Aesthetically, I would like to develop a look that would be suitable for children’s publishing. During the Picture Hooks conference in MMU, Egmont Publishing House stated they were interested in books that helped to develop children’s emotional intelligence. This is something I would like to work on in the future. I also feel that for me to successfully communicate my voice, my illustrations need to be of a childlike nature even though the time-frame of experience and events have continued beyond childhood. I can remember being aware of my gender, being aware of a hierarchy and expectations surrounding behaviour. I remember feeling like I shouldn’t be behaving the way I did and I remember feeling like my body was betraying me, almost, as it began to change. I would like to use a childlike aesthetic to trick my audience into engaging with the work before they realise what it is about.

As I have been making some sketchbook pieces I have been referring to the colour pallets that I dissected from the children’s magazines and toy catalogues. I have also included the t-shirt designs that I feel help to perpetuate stereotypes. I have been looking at a number of artists who I am drawn to for their aesthetics; Sara Fanelli; Heinrik Drescher; Jonny Hannah; Molly Martin; to name only a few.

Artists, and other creatives, who address a similar subject matter that I have looked to are Ranir Martar, Louise Borgeois, Angela Carter, Caroline Duffy, Nan Goldin, Sabrina Ward-Harrison.

It is becoming apparent that I need regular guidance or opinion as I worry that my work is too broad for an MA. At the moment I feel like I am clutching at too many mediums and at too many themes. In one way, I have gained focus, but lost it in another. I am deliberately putting myself out of my comfort zone but this leaves me feeling like an impostor. I am practicing my drawing as I have not drawn properly for years, and when I did, I would try to make the image look realistic. When I try to loosen up I feel it looks forced. I am hoping the more I keep on at it, something will click and I will find what works for me.

Here are some of my sketchbook images alongside some quick response images I have made for the Independent Press project. Independent Press is an online creative newspaper. Everyday an illustration is released alongside a story from the day’s news.


cry 1get it outlove memonstersoh, you're not fatPintsYou.-are.-a.-Girlthe cavernRivals-attack-Theresa-May-over-absence

BBC Debate: At one point, Mr Corbyn asked “where is Theresa May, what happened to her?” as he defended his own leadership abilities.'s eregious budget

White House denies ‘egregious’ accounting error

She Drew The Gun- Poem


Can’t believe what I’m reading when I open up these sheets
they’ve got police getting busier, cleaning up the streets
‘Cos that’s what we need now to make the place neat
take the homeless mans rags,no sleeping bags no place to sleep
Because we’re far too civilised around here to see
an unkempt human being, a broken human being
open up your eyes are you seeing what I’m seeing, yeah
a misplaced made to feel disgraced human being
what it’s not enough to just pretend that you don’t see him
you can’t stand the sight so you’ve got to disappear him
well I hope you feel more comfortable doing your sight seeing
taking pictures, buying fucking Union Jack magnets and keyrings

Life give me something to believe in
No lies, just something to believe in
Am I the only one that’s grieving
these things that belong to you and you and me that they are thieving
It’s time for something to believe in
I’m tired, need something to believe in
Am I the only one that’s grieving
these things that belong to me that they are thieving

And how long until they build a wall and call it a private city
they got walls made out of laws to exclude you and me
Now they take away our right, to fight those laws for free
no legal aid, no more justice, only for the wealthy
Oh but they’re trying to build a more healthy society
So that everybody knows you don’t get nothin’ for free
No scroungers, no living room loungers, living off me
Can I suggest you’re seeing exactly what they want you to see
a monster, cancer, threat to your liberty
How ’bout a scapegoat for their crimes, a victim of the times
everything that your not meant to be
How ’bout a badly prepared, scared human being
how about a necessary cog in their economic machines

If their was no unemployment tell me how would things be
would you still feel lucky to be working 40 hours a week
Well like a caged bird and they got us by the beak
give us enough to eat, enough to sleep, enough to tweet
but there’s not enough space between the ground and our feet
we’re singing songs of freedom but we’re not flying free

Life give me something to believe in
No lies, just something to believe in
Am I the only one that’s grieving
these things that belong to you and me that they are thieving
It’s time for something to believe in
I’m tired, need something to believe in
Am I the only one that’s grieving
these things that belong to me that they are thieving

And this whole world’s got me hurting
got me feeling undeserving
got me questioning my worth in this sad system that we’re serving
found no place in this twisted race for property
is making profit the sole aim of humanity
Protect the banks, bring out the tanks if they disagree
while we’re at it let’s invest some more in military
All our friends have shares so why shouldn’t we

And now the markets are demanding that we give away for free
everything that our grandparents fought for to some company
It’s called wealth creation, yeah, it’s more efficient you see
Well sorry I forgot the free market would set us free
I forgot to only think about I am and me
while brothers and sisters have nothing to eat
brothers and sisters, at home and over seas
So I can’t lie down and I wont let it be
While we are working for a market that doesn’t work for we

These things that they’re thieving, yours and mine
I know that they’re still stealing, but there’s still time
if you feel this way too

Lyrics: She Drew The Gun – Poem

Lecture on Ethics.

This weeks Thursday lecture was on Ethics held by John Spencer. The talk was really informative and relevant to my work but the slides changed so quick. I may contact John and ask if it is possible to be sent the slides to look back on as there was too much information to retain and not enough time to copy all of the notes I would of liked to.

It is a very complex issue and there is a lot of debate within Arts and Humanities regarding ethics as art is intended to challenge. Where is the line that says something is for the greater good and beyond this is unethical? We were informed that we should complete an ethics form for every project. Everyone involved in the research should be given a consent form and they have to give their permission for their input to be used. I presented the same question to John as I did to Olivier Kruegler regarding my reportage. Where do I stand with ethics if my research depends on conversations and statements that are raw and un-edited? If someone knew I was planning on documenting something they said for my research project their reactions and conversations would be edited, therefore detrimental to my research. I see my research as being for the greater good, so am i harming by releasing my findings or merely offending? It was suggested that I would be working ethically as my reportings are not released in a way that the person is identifiable. Even then if someone admitted that conversation came from them, there is no link in my work to them.

Copyright surrounding images, found imagery and collage is extremely complicated. It was recommended we refer to Fair Dealing- Copyright for more information. For found photographs and imagery, you will be entitled to use these if you can prove you have exercised all avenues in trying to find and contact the original owner. I asked where I stood with using collage. I was under the impression the image could be 70 years old in he public domain and therefore free to use and if you manipulate the image to the point of it not being fully recognisable as the original image. John said there is room to manipulate and room for argument within copyright laws, moreso in the Uk than compared to the USA and perhaps I could look up the USA copyright laws in relation to manipulation. Also, look up the Orphan Image government scheme to see if there has been any new legislation approved.

Michele recalled a time she received a solicitors letter after she held an exhibition of which her work incuded manipulated wallpaper she had found in a skip. The wallpaper was only an element in the pieces of her work and someone mustof come across them and reported her. She destroyed her work but never heard any more from the solicitors.

Network review day.


I feel very behind in my practice at the moment and after hearing that no trains were running from Liverpool to Manchester due to the landslide at Liverpool Lime Street station, I was tempted to allow myself this excuse to miss the review day. Instead, I composed a 10 slide presentation of ideas and happenings that I would like to take further into practice 2.


I want to experiment with children’s toys as a way of sketching by probing what makes an object gendered by questioning shapes, colours, textures and even environment and context. If I can change the surrounding  area of a toy, does that change they way we connect it to a specific gender? Also, what makes an object gender neutral?


After the Memory and Trauma lecture during Contested Territories held by Fiona Barber, I wondered whether it would be effective to question why I am interested in stereotypes. What stands out from my childhood is that the only doll I can really remember being interested in was my Rainbow Brite doll and how I would tell people I was her. Looking at this doll, it is obvious to me that she is more of a character than the usual exaggerated perfection of femininity. My mum’s greatest achievement was how beautiful and slim she was and she would talk about it to me a lot. I felt I could never compare and this contributed to an unhealthy relationship with my body for years. I am more the Rainbow Brite character and my mum was the Barbie. Could I make something that illustrates the pressures girls feel to be beautiful? Could I then flip this to show that this really doesn’t matter?


The Glam Guide is a book aimed at teenage girls that a friend and I came across while living in Cardiff. It is solely based around how you can look your best, your social media and blogging presence, your diet, finding the perfect angle to take your photograph, etc, etc. We planned to show our distaste for this guide aiming at girls of a vulnerable age and expose it for the nonsense it is by re-writing and illustrating an opposing version.


This is the area I feel most strongly towards and will be the one I pursue first. As discussed in a previous post, I will dissect stereotypical spreads within the magazines and question everything to gain a deeper understanding the thinking behind the artist and publishing house as well as where they situate within society and who they are truly marketed at. I will question the use of language, colour, shapes and imagery, and subjects within the magazines and play with splicing, scale and context. I wonder whether adults look through the magazines and critique them or do they just buy them without a second thought. I would like to draw attention to what is already there.


I am also drawn towards the language, colours, and imagery used for children’s clothing. A lot rings true with comments made in Marianne Grabruker’s 1988 book ‘There’s a Good Girl: Gender Stereotyping in the First Three Years- A Diary.’ Grabruker documents her experiences of her close circle speaking to boys and girls differently, of using different language, of using language to excuse certain behaviour. I have also noticed this happen today in conversations. After reading Veronika Koller’s article ‘Not just a colour’: pink as a gender and sexuality marker in visual communication I would like to focus on the survey of feelings and expectations associated with different hues of pink and how they become garish and immature when it comes to adults. It would be interesting to experiment with what is commonplace in children’s fashion and apply it to adults simply as t-shirt slogans.


As discussed in a previous post; the email conversation with a man with opposing views to my own on stereotypes and expectations within society.


It was recommended I take a look at this book as a way of beginning to think of how I want to disrupt people’s complacency. How do I want to do this and where is it best to situate my work to create the desired effect? Do I want to play with scale in a way to create a direct and forceful impact or do I want to quietly draw people in and secure their attention before they realise what is happening and what is being said?


This could possibly be the bad idea that I need to let go of, however, I have been questioning if this could work in another context rather than anonymously disseminating the recordings. Could this work if they were in abundance suspended in a small space? Where people have to stand within the area and can not be relieved of paying them any attention and to be confronted with the volume? The problem with this idea is the area it would be displayed. If it was in a gallery then it limits the audience to people who are already accustomed to art and the questions art can propose. Is this my target audience? Is this the area that will trigger the change I intend? Or would perhaps a bus shelter or another public place be more effective?


Here I informed my peers of the Creative Provocation I will be holding in the Righton Building on Wednesday 12th April where I will discuss my research so far, ideas and the questions I have regarding the most effective way I can help implement a change. I am offering a conversation and hope to generate counter ideas, opinions, and experiences to either compliment or challenge my journey so far.


For my feedback I received similar dissatisfaction with the way things are, although, especially when it comes to females and how flowery and sweet language, clothing and expectations of how girls and women should behave. The need to find out what sex a baby is before it is born. It was also highlighted and how the child is embellished in pink and blue, therefore how can this colour preference be natural?  There is less of a concern for boys and the acceptance of how, just like the t-shirt says, ‘Boys will be Boys’. But this leaves me dissatisfied. I feel it is still unfair and negligent of boys emotional needs and interests. Current campaigns were discussed and how they are striking and successful, for example, This Girl Can. There is also a newly started This Boy Can campaign which I believe is equally important. It was suggested that the This Girl Can campaign is successful as it is sending out a positive message rather than highlighting victimisation. I agree that this works and would be worth experimenting with. I do wonder whether this would play to my strengths as an artist, I am someone who is motivated by injustice so I may struggle to flip the message to a positive one. My personality is more direct, I am triggered to highlight issues that have happened in society. It was also suggested that I could create my own gender neutral magazine. It is not something that I am considering at the moment but this could be possible when I have tested my dissection as I mentioned earlier.


A conversation.

Matt and I headed to the lovely local pub for a couple of drinks on Friday evening at the beginning of February. We were lucky to find a small table, but unlucky to be positioned next to an extremely loud conversation regarding hiring women of childbearing age. It was a conversation between three male friends and one guy was very vocal with his views in the matter much to one of his friends bemusement. He loudly stated that as an owner of a company you would have to be insane to hire a woman of childbearing age; the woman would have to be amazing at her job or infertile; if a woman come for an interview and had given birth to three children in a row, there is no way you would hire her; feminism is women wanting to beat men around the head; the law has gone mad and is unfairly on the side of women now; fathers for justice are just fighting to see their kids; and the stats say now that men are hiring more women than men just so they look like they are an equal opportunities employer. Stats were mentioned a lot. I found the conversation offensive but unfortunately could not move to somewhere else and within the small room, would still be able to hear anyway.

As he and his friends were leaving, I gave him my card and told him I would like to speak to him when he was sober. He told me he would speak to me now but I suggested that would not be a good idea. To be fair with him, he emailed the next day and we have exchanged in conversation. I asked him about his views as even if I do not agree with them, it is interesting to find out why he believes what he does and where he gets his background information from. I challenged him on what exactly is childbearing age. He mentioned again how if you were a small business owner and you interviewed a woman and a man who both expressed an interest in having a family, it would make sense to hire the man. He drew on his own family experience where an immediate family member is taking their second period of maternity leave in a short space of time and proposed that I would find that a lot of men would actually like to have the time to take off with the baby. I suggested that maybe the problem lay with the employment law rather than with the woman having the baby. Would it not be more beneficial to argue that the law be changed for men to be entitled to take half of the maternity leave or have it flexible between both parents rather than the year to be given just to the mother? This could lessen the expectation that women are a weak link when hiring. This also highlights how people expect women to want children and for all families to be made up of heterosexual parents. I argued that ‘childbearing age’ is so vast and therefore is an unfair bias. I have friends who had children at 17/18 and are now settled in careers, not wanting any more children. Because they are in their 30’s, are they still viewed as a liability by employers? One of those friends is self-employed and could only afford to take 10 days off before and after she give birth. I also have relatives who are having their first child at 40. What is childbearing age within employment exactly? Or are women just being viewed differently purely because of their ability to give birth?

It was put to me that although his friends claim joint responsibility of their families, the biological reality is that women are statistically better at nurturing children and I should read “The blank slate: the modern denial of human nature” by  Harvard professor, Steven Pinker. I am very suspicious of this opinion, the statistics, and the book, for many reasons. Why is child rearing the one prominent thing that men will hold their hands up and say they are not as good at. Is it because the responsibility holds you back? I know when Matt and I have spoken about having children he was worried how it will affect me and my career. Why just mine when the both of us would be having a baby? I know of women who should never have been mothers and I know men who have the manner, patience, empathy, and capacity to adapt to parenthood more easily than their partners. I find it quite patronising to men and fathers. I will, however, look into this book as I am interested in the point of view. At this point though, I do believe if you can get out of looking after the children for most of the time you will, just as if you can get away with taking the bins out, you will.

I asked about stereotypes with children and what we can do to move the responsibility of family life from the girl and make it an equal endeavour. The response was that let children be, allow them to play with whatever they want. Which is great, but I feel this equality is contradictory to the later expectation of women in the workplace and the family role. This is also not the reality I have encountered on many occasions when talking to mums about their sons wanting to play with dolls, prams or kitchens and the anger from the father and the compromises of allowing toys in the house but not outside where the some could be seen with them. If boys are forcibly disassociated from toys associated with the family or the household, why are they going to believe it is a completely equal responsibility later in life? Especially when even if they would like it to be, the law gives full maternity leave to the mother and only 2 weeks to them.


The link to this video was attached for me to watch and I have mixed views about it. I agree that in order to see a more complete story we need to seek a third variable, but I don’t believe it stops there. Just as some of the research spoken about in Cordelia Fine’s The Delusions of Gender, it is not enough for neuroscientists to look at the brain and hormones effect on the brain without taking into account societal environment, family life, social class. All this will help to mold a person, their interests, job aspirations. Is it really enough to say that women are not taking more tech jobs than men because it is simply not an area of interest to them. Would it not be beneficial to question why? Drawing on a previous post I wrote, during the Tech For Good workshop I took part in, the majority of the conversation surrounding the wicked problem of why there are hardly women in tech was embed in gender stereotypes and societies expectations. I would agree with the unfairness of suspending people unfairly in schools just because of the need to level out the suspension rates to 50/50, but why do boys suffer with more behaviour and anger issues? I will suggest to watch the documentary The Mask You live In for an interesting insight.


I do believe it is not always realistic to expect a 50/50 ratio to apply to everything, however, I do not believe this video proves much to alter my views despite it illustrating some interesting points.

Creative Provocation proposal.

What If Pets Were Sexist?

What can I do about it? Society is sexist, and innocently sexist at times. How can I help children feel that it is OK for them to be a girl who likes dinosaurs or to be a boy who likes to dress hair? How can I do that if their family is trying to push them towards dolls or football? What can I do to lessen the terror felt by a father when his son wants to dress as a Disney princess in class for half an hour? What can I do to make a mum think twice about mentioning that her daughter is assertive and how she knows it can be overbearing for other children? What can I do when I don’t have children of my own? What can I do when this discredits the childhood experience I had just because I don’t have a child on my own?  What would I do if my mum called my dog a ‘tart’ again for wearing his fancy baby blue striped harness complete with huge bow?…

I’m asking for help. I want to address gender stereotypes in a way that connects with adults. I would like to show how they effect children’s moral, self image, job prospects, family life, and so on. It is so intertwined in all aspects of society; how do I find just one area to focus on? How do I as an illustrator, visually engage with my target audience? Especially when I constantly feel I need to be able to academically justify myself at the risk of missing my audience.


Soul Scripting Workshop and the first week back.

16003327_10154832751273886_3506358859038274580_nLast week I attended a workshop outside of the university called Soul Scripting. It was described as a workshop to learn techniques for written meditation. I felt this may help me sort through my thoughts on my research and help me gain focus. I am hoping that after reading, watching and engaging so much, using these techniques to get everything out may generate ideas and lessen my anxiety over the issue and also about the work itself. If I go back and reread what I have wrote I might find ideas to pursue.

I was tempted not to go into uni on Thursday as I felt I hadn’t caught up to exactly where I wanted to before starting again, but I went in anyway. I am glad I made the decision to as I was automatically more focused. It is very like to me to want to bury my head in the sand when I feel overwhelmed or not in control. It was scary getting given the deadline dates and the breakdown of the weeks because it is all too apparent that the time is going to pass so quick and I feel like I have nothing done even though before the Christmas break it took over my every thought. This could be the momentum I need to start making decisions, admitting I will not be able to read every book and paper and I need to test pieces of work and following this, narrow down my area of interest and tease out what I want to propose.I have put a call out on social media asking for old toys. I’m not sure what I am going to do with them yet in some way, I would like to the gender association away from the object or to open it up. I will test this once I have the zine made for my Contested Territories exhibition.

I received an email today to say that my application to be a Make a Difference Ambassador has been successful. I have been given some training dates and I am looking forward to the experience, although I am aware that my time is already spread pretty thinly. I’m looking forward to engaging with people and this opportunity could possibly allow me to find a place for my work or steer me in a direction I have not already considered. The training will start next month.

Also, as I am typing this there is a small section of BBC news being dedicated to fathers and what they are terming, The Fatherhood Gap. Men are speaking up and addressing that they would like the chance to have a less stressful job to free their time to help raise their children. It made me happy to hear this. The men said they dropped their high positions and took pay cuts to feel more fulfilled at home as they felt they were missing out and felt guilt that they were not giving their pars the support they needed. They are wanting more men to speak up and are wanting the support to do this in the work place. One man commented that he did not want to be the father he had; a man he did not see apart from at weekends. It makes me feel hopeful when I see people putting these issue in the public eye that society could be changing for the people that want it.