Sep 27, 2011

TREND | Women In Their Societies



Gauri Gill, 'Urma and Nimli, Lunkaransar', from the series "Notes from the Desert", 1999-2010, silver gelatin print, 61 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Nature Morte Gallery. © 2011 Gauri Gill.
Gauri Gill, 'Urma and Nimli, Lunkaransar', from the series "Notes from the Desert", 1999-2010, silver gelatin print, 61 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Nature Morte Gallery. © 2011 Gauri Gill

When deciding what trend to focus on I had no idea that my inspiration would come from a black and white photograph and proceed into cultural impacts on art.

Gauri Gill who grew up in India is a perfect example of the idea that culture, openness to other places, and experience’s can greatly impact how an artist creates their work.  For starters the picture titled “Urma and Nimli Lunkaransar” brings together what seem to be a mother and child embracing one another while the mother hangs upside down. This, like many other works by Gill seems to integrate the idea of individuality as well as the importance of women. The way that the mother and daughter embrace one another reminds me of the idea of the origination of where the daughter came from. The idea that by the mother holding the daughters head and the daughter holding her mother’s head, it brings them together in this uniformed way like the connection between womb and child.  Many of Gill’s works seem to maintain this simplicity of basic photographs as something that can impact a viewer. She does not use graphics to heighten her photos to a synthetic quality or high resolution to make them perfect. She leaves them in their natural state to resemble the genuine beauty of people in their natural habitat.



Nandini Valli, 'Disillusioned 1', 2003, from the series "Definitive Reincarnate", inkjet print on archival paper, 76 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Sakshi Gallery. © 2011 Nandini Valli.
Nandini Valli, 'Disillusioned 1', 2003, from the series "Definitive Reincarnate", inkjet print on archival paper, 76 x 76 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Sakshi Gallery. © 2011 Nandini Valli.

Proceeding onto Nadini Valli we see the same trend of culture through her photograph title, “Disillusioned 1”. She was also born in India where she was raised. The religions she was raised around are clearly seen developing into genuine works of art through her photography.  What is seen here in this photo seems to represent “Shiva, the god of the yogis, considered self-controlled and celibate while at the same time a lover of his spouse (“Shakti”)”.This image has the same type of trend as the photo by Gauri Gill, representing the beauty of the India nation and the impact of religion and society.  This photo shows a man dressed in the celebration attire in the India nation. Sitting on a bed in what looks to be a state of contemplation or disappointment: “Shiva is also known for change in both the form of death and destroying the ego.” It seems in this picture to have had a turn in luck for the character that looks to be representing the god Shiva. He sits alone on a bed, a man dressed in gold and silk attire with the norm for gods being blue-bodies and it seems clearly he is not happy. He is alone, his own ego having been destroyed.


Flora Fok, 'The Missing Part', 2011, ceramics, 65 x 30 x 30 cm. Image courtesy Karin Weber Gallery.


Flora Fok is from Hong Kong, China where she graduated and now practices her art work. Her fascination on art work lies in the form of the human body and the flow of pattern that can be associated with that form. By bringing together the form of the human body and this beautiful trend in patterns she is incorporating what she has lived around and what she sees on a daily basis into one beautiful piece. Hong Kong fashions are associated with Chinese fashions because of their vicinity to one another. The fashions of their cultures are closely associated to that of America where we are influenced by other countries and styles. For example, “The Missing Part” looks very similar to the traditional  European bustles with a combination of the French ballerina tutu.  In Hong Kong clothing etiquette usual keeps them conservative, so this dress may (if ever used as clothing) would be considered a bit risqué because of the length.

Although from different parts of the globe: Fok, Gill, and Valli have amazing similarities apart from being incredibly talented women. They come from societies that are culturally male dominate. So in fact, for them to be able to break the bonds of what women’s typical jobs are: I.e: secretaries, mothers, housewives, and financial assistants. They have created a strong artistic ground for today’s contemporary art world. The trend that they have set brings women and religion into a new standing importance by putting them into different settings that create a world around women and religion in a realistic sense. Gill, who has made a women and what seems to be her child seem independent, unique, and strong (apart from what their society would make). Valli, who has created a humanistic form of a god and put him on a bed alone and distraught “ Disillusioned 1”.  Fok who has taken cultural fashions and put a unique twist on what would be appropriate in her society, while creating a piece of artwork that brings back past clothing styles with a new appropriateness for what is considered “decent length” in modern terms. The artists have all been raised in societies where women’s’ role is less important and outlined from birth. Their impact on Contemporary art seems to grow from their cultural heritage, the religions they were raised around, the fashions that they have always known and their break from traditional roles. 

--Kristi Underwood 

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