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“I speak for those of you who don’t yet know the words, who’ve lost your tongues, who have not found your voice, who are afraid to tell your stories; fearful they may be too telling.” Joanna Freuh, Mouthpiece
As humans, we live in a state of dynamic, conflicting emotions. In moments of pain we experience joy and in moments of joy we have sorrow. In my work I celebrate the contradictions and dynamism of the joy and sadness of life. Just like the word “lovely,” which we may use to describe everything from a wedding ceremony to a funeral service, life is an indefinable experience. It fluctuates, never remaining in one moment or emotion for long. This dynamism creates the complexity of life, the beauty of life, and the path of life. As Joanna Freuh says, “life is sloppy” and, as an artist, I celebrate, question, and reveal the sloppiness of our lives.
I use my daily life as the main subject of my work with the idea of the work being honest, even painfully so, coming from my desire to be true to my emotions, insecurities, strengths, and intelligence without fear of ridicule or censure from a patriarchal society. By making work that resides within the realm of the everyday, everyday objects, and the female, I am attempting to defy and contest masculine censure. In effect, I reclaim my femininity: the quality of being feminine, without the fear of losing strength or respect. Though the autobiographical drives the work and is necessary for it to exist, ultimately it is transcended, enabling the viewers to have their own independent relationship to the work.
I am not an extraordinary woman. I do not live under extraordinary circumstances. I am a woman who has both flaws and fears and also strengths and hopes. Through the depiction of these characteristics, I invite the viewer to relate to and connect with the work the artist, and the subject of human experience.
“I had to make the quilt to keep my family warm. I made it beautiful to keep my heart from breaking.” Miriam Shapiro
© 2008, Joetta Maue. All rights reserved. joettamaue (at) gmail <dot> com