Saks-Fithian, Sarah
Ann Arbor, MI
Artist Statement
Participating as part of the NANA college student program: My fishnet series explores the artistic significance of ceramic decoration in relation to women?s social value and my own sense of agency. Historically, women have been treated as sexual resources rather than as people and their work has been devalued in the economy and the art world. The decoration of functional pieces has largely been attributed to women and portrayed as less valuable than ?real? art created by men. Even today, women?s social value is predominantly determined by their appearance and they are often denied the agency to make independent decisions about their own lives and bodies. In these pieces, my fishnet stockings represent and subvert this imposed sexualization with a medium that has helped me feel more in control of my life and in touch with my body. Fishnets are a symbol of female sexuality that doesn?t conform to the male gaze. They play with traditional ideas of femininity by enabling women to control how much flesh they expose while maintaining the illusion of modesty that stockings provide. In a similar vein, working on the potter?s wheel empowers me to feel grounded in my body and sense of self. I turned to ceramics after traumatic experiences of gender-based violence that left me with debilitating PTSD. Ceramics has a very therapeutic effect on me and has had an immense impact on my mental health. I use ceramics as a means of expression and self-care and my work connects the gendered perceptions of decoration with a reclamation of female sexual agency that is characterized by my fishnet stockings.
Booth : WA801
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