About This Piece
Life study, with Collage, set in white box frame, (overall dimensions of whole piece 52.5 x 52.5 x 4.5cm). Vintage wallpaper, household paint and 1950's Parisian 'Elle' magazine.
One of a series of works using mixed media with Collage, and based on a Prague/Czech Republic residency.
Helen Gorrill’s work is held in private collections worldwide and now included in New York Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A Sackler Center for Feminist Art archive, alongside feminist icons The Guerrilla Girls, Tracey Emin, Annie Sprinkle, Miriam Schapiro, Judy Chicago and Pipilotti Rist. Having already gained national and international press attention for her controversial drawings, this year Gorrill has exhibited in London, Paris and Dubai, and has been shortlisted for 2012 Passion for Freedom, an international award and exhibition that showcases art that makes a difference.
"The drawings for her degree show, which reverse the female submissiveness advocated by a religious pamphlet posted through her door, put women in a dominant position while the men are bent and bound in sexual submission. The male figures have been censored, but to protect whom? The spam I receive contains more indecency than Ms Gorrill's work, and it is much less interesting because she makes a valid point." The Observer on Sunday/The Guardian in 'Britain is not radical enough'
Most recently, I have been working with 'collage', reconstructing the female form from recycled materials, inspired by Hannah Hoch's 'Cut with the Kitchen Knife' work from the 1920s. Not dissimilar to Hoch's inspiration, the reality for many women in recessional 2012 includes entrapment in low-paying jobs and subjection to male-dominated hierarchies. Whilst my collages celebrate the female form, a closer look raises a question-mark over the issue of equality, revealing the posed women as fractured and torn, reconstructed from the broken imagery of the dream of the perfect housewife in 1950s magazines and vintage wallpaper finds, juxtaposed with the content of contemporary 'lads mags'.
Much of my work questions the submissiveness of women advocated by religion, particularly in my investigation of Christianity and the representation of the Virgin. My work has grown increasingly towards mixed-media and sculpture/installation. I also work with unexpected found/lost objects, such as reclaimed prosthetic limbs and medical applicances, combining these with traditional 'feminine' techniques such as stitch and embroidery. People are often afraid to discuss religion and it remains one of our last taboos, a subject we are afraid to discuss for fear of causing offence. With even Western restrictions on the media's criticism of any religious practice, male-controlled religion will continue to dominate and underpin our society. My feminist subject matter is deeply disturbing, and to me vital in speaking the unspeakable.