April 2019: A Statement Explaining Recent Works
Gender identity influences our character, who we are, and has a large impact in our day-to-day interactions. While gender is a mental component, it is expressed through our bodies. It influences how we present ourselves to the outside world. I explore these topics of gender identity in reference to personal and social relations through painting and soft sculptures, interviews, video art and photography.
As you observe my work, you will immerse yourself in a setting filled with colour, lack of perspective and distorted light sources. The altered representation reflects our altered reality. The understanding of the binary, the assumed genders of other people and social expectations are not exactly as we know it to be; they are taught concepts. Through my work, I am exploring and pushing the boundaries of humanity and the gender complex.
I’d like to point out that sex is biological (physical), while gender is a social construction (mental). Yet, our sex tends to determine our gender, or at least, people assume our gender based on appearance. In this way, our gender is assumed by others, and they will treat us a certain way because of social pressures and learned behaviours.
For instance, children are often separated by gender at play time. There are girl toys and there are boy toys. The choice to play with either toy is available, but gender roles restrict our choices because of learned behaviours. Gender is complex, but social pressures limit self-expression through the binary (boy and girl). Society is based on a male or female experience.
I interviewed some friends and family members to explore their gender experiences and how they feel pressured to act/dress/perform in a certain way to conform to gender norms. Then I reflected on my own gender experience and considered how my family, friends and other social connections have impacted how I view myself and how I want others to view me respectively. Although I am born female, am visibly a woman in her early 20s growing up in a male dominated society that sexualizes women, I am so much more than that. I am also an art student, and my art is how I tell my story.
Meet the people behind the projects. The curators. The creative developers.
Founding Team Member/Editor-in-Chief:
Shayla Hickerson is a HBFA (Visual Arts) student at Lakehead University. Through her experience as an emerging artist, she has become aware of the difficulties of creating a name for one’s self. It became understood that aspiring artists have a challenging time building up their CV. This realization became a turning point in her attempt to create change. In addition, it became more obvious to Hickerson that there were many conversations that were not easily discussed. After encountering a few obstacles of her own, and working through finding her own voice, Hickerson decided that she no longer wanted to beat around the bush. This characteristic became extremely influential after studying major concepts in Women’s Studies, as well as feminist topics in art history. After months of talking and meeting up with people, the idea of a collective project, Deprived Media, started to become its own entity. Through Deprived Media, Hickerson seeks to address the topics that are pushed to the side while encouraging artists, and the community alike, to break the silence in a safe, respectable way.
Also, feel free to come along for the never ending journey! Featuring Shayla’s personal experience with hardships and blessings in life!
And finally, but not least!
That Art Kid