Textile art and feminist social activism: The Daily Diminish project

Julie Montgarrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper addresses an Australian Textile project, The Daily Diminish, devised with feminist philosophies of art for social change. Initiated by artists Sarah McEwan (CAD Factory) and Julie Montgarrett (Charles Sturt University), the project documents the ubiquitous forms of sexist language that Australian women from diverse backgrounds experience daily. Consisting of multiple black calico panels that refer to domestic scale textiles such as quilts and pillows, each panel carries a single quotation hand-written in bleach and embroidered in red text, to record each woman’s feelings when encountering the words. Through public display, the work aims to highlight the overt and subtle ways in which sexist commonplace social commentaries and denigration work to undermine women’s individual agency, ambition, and confidence for self-determination. Aiming to curb women’s behaviors through repeated reminders of the expected observance of gendered roles, this language attempts to enforce compliance to ensure obedience to stereotypical cultural norms. Locating the work in the public spaces of a conservative regional city with entrenched, patriarchal values was an intentionally subversive, self-conscious disruption of the status quo and has revealed initially unrecognized potential for developing new strategies of making as part of on-going public displays in other regional settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-411
Number of pages16
JournalTextile: the journal of cloth and culture
Volume15
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Oct 2017

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