A Woman’s Place (semiotics of the domestic) became a celebration of a female presence among International artists to form dialogues and expand practices employing collaborative exchanges.
The performance became an enduring display of women surrounded and embracing metal (iron) and object (domestic). We did not anticipate the duration of the performance that led to an extension of actions and movements by the female only crews. There became a clear collaboration between the scene of domestic objects and women geared up in their leather’s working through the heat and dirt of iron casting. I began to question the purpose of the ‘chosen’ objects and how and why they were destroyed in action. What is curious about the work is how it has taken on the history and energy of the National Historic Landmark of Sloss Furnaces; creating a collaboration between the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices and Wales.
What became a focal element in the performance was the series of sequences choreographed by the crew; carrying a ladle full of molten iron to their chosen object for a moment of destruction and clarity. It became apparent that the work took on a new direction of empowerment for women and became a pivotal moment of realization for myself as the artist and my crew who work directly with iron as a focal material in their practice. What was particularly curious was the experience of the audience witnessing and observing the work; questioning as to whether the viewer becomes a participant or an observer of the work.
Detailed view of the endurance of hoovering the rug that was laden with molten iron and the gruelling action and ‘daily’ ritual as a woman; the expected role of a woman as we know and experience. This action was such a powerful moment for my practice and the realization of how it is shifting towards a focus on impermanence of the aftermath of a living material such as iron and an object.
A Woman’s Place (semiotics of the domestic) was supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Wales Arts International Fund.