Art Statement

Theme of Material Girl art prize: Tall Poppies, late bloomers

Balancing on a vertical pole, a woman is dressed in Steampunk clothing - a retro Victorian fashion movement derived from the science fiction genre.  Pod-shaped, her skirt and hoops are indicative of the skeleton of a decaying poppy husk.  Characteristic of Steampunk, the "undressed" gown becomes a more promiscuous statement revealing hoops and undergarments.  The decaying husk/gown correlates with the degradation of women in social media.

Like a tightrope walker she wields a poppy-red umbrella balancing conflicting demands of career, motherhood and a marketed sexuality.  Behind a fragile mask of control, our modern Victorian woman is a circus of juggling and balancing.  Is she any happier today?

In the distance looms a large-scale harvesting machine, an ominous symbol of the pharmaceutical and agribusiness corporatocracy and its unrelenting economics of profit and monopoly.  The great leveler of individuality, equality, and democracy, globalisation grinds relentlessly, creating an opiate for the masses. 

In spite of the harsh reality of the mechanistic world in which she lives, there is hope that she may stand tall and escape the harvest. She may be the first crop of a new world, a late bloomer.

Fiona Francois