Arts Degree Show2016

Sarah Francis

My practice is a contemporary comment on historical art values regarding the representation of women, particularly those with the title ‘Venus’.

In Greco-Roman cultures, Venus was worshipped as a goddess and regarded as a female who possessed everything an ideal beautiful woman should have. During the Renaissance period, the title ‘Venus’ was applied to a woman who is the idealized, sexualized form of beauty. In addition, historical male artists recurrently concealed the fundamentals of female genitalia by concealing them with fabric, a hand, or a blunt ‘v’ shape. This decision is contradicted in the phallic displays in the nude representations of men.

Venus was subject to the male gaze, which implies a relationship of power difference between the one performing the gaze and the one being gazed upon. In reference to this, my practice contrasts accurate representations of nude female bodies with historical representations. My work engages with bodily fragmentation, disintegration and distraction in order to deconstruct the male gaze and intervene with visual perception. I am exploring different ways of looking and seeing. The fragmented female bodies in my work are unified in disunity through the employment of feminist agency.  


Placements / Work Experience:

Internship at Max Mara Ltd in Fashion, Styling and Brand Management, 3-month Placement in 2015