Saturday, 20 March 2021

My CSF manifesto

 

On Monday huge numbers of Australian women rallied outside Parliament House and in cities nationwide to protest at political indifference to the safety of women. Men came too, and protested at the March4Justice. Regrettably I live in a tiny rural village where there was no action and I couldn’t attend rallies away from town.




Following up in the media coverage later I was uproariously thrilled to see an image of 4 women holding up a large banner outside of Parliament house, Canberra, which had the words “CUNTY SHIT FUCKERY” emblazoned on it. Starting yesterday I did searches trying to find the image again, without luck. No surprise that it has probably already been expunged from social media. Nothing more confronting than uppity vulgar women.

I am embracing this slogan for myself.

Having posted those words on Instagram a few days ago I was quickly censored for “breaching community standards”. So henceforth I have to use subversive means to publish the slogan. Those means will be

#1 - I use the acronym <CSF>

#2 -  I spell it backwards as <YTNUC TIHS YREKCUF>

Here is the explanation why…I am a feminist. Though I have never belonged to organisations or participated in networks (mainly due to being an isolationist Aspergers person) I am a well read autodidact.

The type of feminist identity I embrace is being a noisy woman who demands to take up space and be heard. CSF gets a reaction becos it is not something a polite, demure and compliant woman goes around saying. It is emblematic of a woman behaving badly. It is a woman doing “shit fuckery” and resisting being shut up.

 

 

I had a private chat with a woman colleague in the dressmaking and sewing pattern publishing world a few days ago. She queried why I so often stick my neck out and get embroiled in controversies. The result being getting much trolling, cancelling, censoring and denigration. She said her strategy was to ignore and deflect all that becos she wanted to grow her business and make it profitable. She was intrigued why I am prepared to cop so much negativity sometimes at the cost of having been blackbanned in places.

The answer is that I don’t separate my art from my politics. Making art, even what is regarded as “decorative art”, is a type of political speech. Political speech is art. I don’t feel any separation between the two, or in my person. Doing both is necessary for me to feel an integrated and whole human being.

In contemporary western mindset ppl in modernity are encouraged to split off parts of their personality and behaviours. We are encouraged to think there is a difference between my private self, my public self, my business or working self. This kind of fracturing makes it easier for ppl to participate in harmful systems of capitalism and how that system goes about damaging and pillaging the natural world. Adopting that compartmentalizing leaves individuals feeling powerless to change things. Your “private” self might be deeply concerned about the breakdown of nature and the way consumerist mentality keeps telling us there is no end to filling up the world with crap we don’t need, but if your “public” self works in the mining industry and that is where you get your income, then this dissonance will cause you to be silent and keep on running around the hamster wheel believing you can’t get off.

Here is a link to a brilliant podcast which perfectly encapsulates what I think.

BBC Arts Hour

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My art part completed this dress yesterday. It is 100% cotton fabrics upcycled from a used doona cover.

I used the wide white edging that was already part of the doona before I cut it up as a feature on the hem, sleeves and top of the pockets. The appliques are made from a scrap of lightweight denim I had left over from another doona.







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Two books I've read lately. "Why Race Still Matters" by Alana Lentin is on the left. "If This Is A Woman" by Sarah Helm is actually a re-read, bought about 5 years ago.

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My next piece of CSF will be....

I will be blogging again in a day or 2 to discuss an article published in Seamwork magazine. Seamwork is an online magazine that is only available to paid subscribers of that community.

Seamwork

Unfortunately being a magazine that can be accessed by paid subscribers I won't be able to give links to the actual article I want to talk about, which is called Degendering Fashion, by Emilia Bergoglio.

However, below are Instagram links for Seamwork and Emilia Bergoglio where you can get an understanding of Degendering Fashion might mean.

Unfortunately Emilia has already blocked me from her Instagram so I don't know how the commentary about her article is developing. Her friends relayed to me that my putting questions to her was rude, unacceptable and none of my business. The link I've given may not work for that reason. But if necessary you could look her up at emilia_to_nuno. I suspect that comments I posted a few days ago have already been removed.

Seamwork Instagram

Emilia

To follow me on Insta, I'm here

Pearls Instagram

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If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at pearl@upstairs-art.com.au