The Galleries at Lynn Arts, GALA, is presenting an exhibit, Feminism & Activism which features art inspired by the Feminist Movement and other activism which has been inspired by the current political situation.
I am thrilled to be part of this show! My art for the exhibit is called “Dear Sirs” and uses my shorthand and typing to send messages a equal rights for women. Stenography is mostly a women’s language; these days, when it is no longer taught in most schools, it is almost a secret women’s language. So it is the ideal language to use in feminist art.
First I wrote a series of letters to the men of the world who have the power to change the system to treat women, more than half the population, fairly. One discusses equal pay and equal job opportunities, one is centered on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and one concerns a fair and equal split of household responsibilities. First I took the letter down in stenography on the last page of the stenography pad of my youth, then I typed them. The letters are crumpled, burned and stained with coffee mug rings to represent the long journey women have been forced to take to try to attain equal and fair treatment in the world.
Then the letters were collaged with newspaper articles which covered various aspects of Women’s Rights. An interesting and depressing fact is that all of the articles were gleaned from one regular daily Boston Globe — not a special Women’s Issue, not an issue printed on a day special to the Women’s Movement. Lastly, I smeared the whole collage with the shorthand brief form for “Dear Sirs”, done in translucent paint so the letters would show through. The color is the red of blood & lipstick. It is not painted in a gentle and lyrical way, but an angry slash. It is time for women to stick together and be angry about our unfair treatment, and to not worry about whether think it isn’t pretty.