Blinded & Sideways, Yet Magically Alive 

Blinded, by Ashton EB Cutright-Bray Digital collage, 2015

Blinded, by Ashton EB Cutright-Bray
Digital collage, 2015

Blinded” introduces us to a racially ambiguous “everywoman” who seems content.

But something’s not right.

She’s supported by a pink-tinged desert-scape. It’s beautiful. But dry. And half empty.

And sideways.

Beyond is the universe. Everything is available.

But our everywoman is blinded by the pink bar that keeps her from seeing her potential.

And we are blocked from seeing her eyes — the window to the soul.

We are all blocked by feminine expectations.

This piece by Ashton EB Cutright-Bray is part of the 2015 anthology, Les Femmes Folles: The Women, edited by artist, Sally Deskins.

This beautiful collection brings together feminist artwork that sparks thought, inspiration and conversation.

It’s hard to choose which pieces to talk about, but at a time when climate change threatens, thanks to our dominating-instead-of-harmonizing relationship with Earth — a conflict we are sure to lose — I was struck by an earth-inspired piece.

Graffiti Tree, by Mary Reilly Graphite on paper, 2013

Graffiti Tree, by Mary Reilly
Graphite on paper, 2013

Graffiti Tree” was inspired by Mary Reilly’s tromp through Alley Pond Park in Queens:

Walking through the park’s woods I realized that I had stumbled upon something very interesting. What I found there was acre upon acre of trees with history spelled all over them. Almost every tree had been marked by someone who had strolled through. There were hearts with initials and names carved into them, some with the year dating back to the 1930’s… I found the faceless initials carved into the trees and what might be the story behind them to be most interesting.

Viewing this artwork I see earth animated by humans drawing themselves on Gaia, the earth goddess. My own initials are upfront… along with (Black) “Sabbath” and other Rock Gods.

The blocked letters resemble magic Runes, foretelling the future and offering guidance.

But awkwardly. Is this worship? Or a scar?

Changing Landscapes, By Hillary Leach Mixed media painting, 2014-15

Changing Landscapes, By Hillary Leach
Mixed media painting, 2014-15

Which brings me to “Changing Landscapes,” By Hillary Leach, who draws inspiration from nature, discord and harmony:

I’m interested in the idea of opposing forces, and I consider the canvas to be a place for mediation between the two. Harmony versus discord, the organic versus the contrived, perfection versus imperfection.  These are the forces that I seek to find equilibrium between in each of my paintings. I approach them as puzzles to be solved.

I play with each of those opposing forces until the work feels balanced.

She uses unconventional and oddly matched materials to highlight conflict and resolution.

In “Changing Landscapes” I see contrasting colors and emotions, a lot of layers and a lot of depth.

Without life’s contrasts and contradictions, ups and downs, we’d be left with a whole lot of nothing.

You can order Les Femmes Folles: The Women here.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 18, 2016, in feminism, sexism, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. this is one of the best reviews I’ve ever read! both inspiring and informative

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