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Donna Cleary
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill



ARTIST STATEMENT: I've reimagined fetish objects and fertility statuary using contemporary materials collected from my surroundings. With an interested in what marks our epoch and the eye of an anthropologist, I collect domestic detritus as "artifacts" from the streets. In the tradition of women's handiwork, the domestic and maternal, I crochet fibers around these formerly useful objects to bind them together. On one hand, they sprout new skin and connective tissue - suggesting rebirth and growth. On the other, the objects are consumed by the fibers, detaching them from their unique histories, binding them in new realities. I'm curious about the phenomenon of attachment. The maternal is our first attachment and essential for survival but breaking that bond is imperative to individuality. I see this paradox reflected in the desire/suppression of the female in contemporary culture. Michelle Grabner and Ken Johnson brought this discourse to the forefront recently and Iím happy to be part of the dialogue. And the ever present assertion that a woman is the sole proprietor of her body is always at the forefront. Does our consumer culture stems from our loss of reverence for the feminine? Have we have substituted one for the other in our desires - fetishizing shiny new objects in a continuous cycle of replacement? These sculptures weave together consumption-based waste with the handmade, the durable with the fragile and the past with the present. From these entanglements emerge abstracted bodies that allude to both male and female generative forces and the domestic as a power center, Donna Haraway's cyborgs, the post human and mythic entanglements. I also pull back from these ideas and think strictly through the abstracted lens, allowing the forms to speak for themselves. My work relates directly to my experiences with the maternal as well as years spent working as an RN.
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