I am a multidisciplinary artist.
My studio practice focuses on the historical societal influences on beliefs and behavior with regard to contemporary gender and sexual orientation issues and the environment. The conceptual basis for my artwork is primary. The materials are selected that best articulate the chosen concept and advance further exploration of the issues through the artwork.
The Glossary is a living document dedicated to exploring
the relationship between the botanical and human world. The
human experience is being developed and defined. If you would
like to add terminology that is not already included or if you have
an expanded definition, please contact me via the contact page with your contribution. You can download the current full glossary to the right.
A multidisciplinary, socially-engaged
exhibit reframing the dialogue regarding
human sexuality and gender identity using
the botanical world as a metaphor.
May 24 - July 20, 2019
The Studio @ Sahara West Library
9600 W. Sahara
Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89117
Check Back for The Glossary Download.
It is being updated.
Other Selected Artwork
A radical transformation, for which I have no control. ARIEL [sings]: But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Shakespeare, 1610, The Tempest Materials: String, salt, water, glass jar, metal rod Salt is an essential mineral for life. Each human body contains approximately .4 per cent of the body’s weight of table salt (approximately 40 teaspoons), a concentration equivalent to sea water.
The sculpture is comprised of 59 suspended salt formations with the 60th forming. Each formation represents one year of the artist’s life.
Each piece was created with an artist-crocheted structure representing the plans she made for that year. Then the item was submerged in salt water, some for months, allowing the salt to crystalize naturally, altering the form of the individual piece.
Some formations represent years with significant challenges, while others were small and delicate. Each tells a story.
This sculpture is a social commentary regarding the objectification of women in contemporary society. The use of pantyhose references its common cosmetic use to beautify women’s legs while wearing dresses or skirts. This women’s clothing item is an ironic material to use to convey the importance of valuing women’s intellectual capacity. The artist’s message is that if women are to be objectified, let it be for their mind’s capacity, which here is symbolized by her brain.
The normalization of female oppression has deep roots within most human cultures. The suppressed status of women is maintained by socialization of men and women with acceptance of defined sex-specific mores, sex role model behaviors and reinforcing belief systems.
The definition of women to be less than equal, merely an object of desire and male pleasure, is evident as early as the Paleolithic period (estimated 28,000 and 25,000 BCE) with the iconic Willendorf Woman, carved in oolitic limestone, where the female figure is objectified by depicting her without defined facial features, minimal limbs and no feet.
Religion is a strong tool to reinforce discriminatory beliefs and behavior in any culture. Ephesians 5:22-24 is such an example. These systematic tools of oppression are designed to control the masses and are the enforcers of what has been deemed “the natural order.” The Inquisition’s witch hunt was one such powerful tool. The Church was empowered to label women either saint or witch. This instituted fear as a means of control and sent a persuasive message of submission to women.
The artwork’s material components are integral to the concept. Perceptions of a binary expression are negated by the material’s composition: aluminum and bronze, an alloy consisting of copper, tin and often other metals such as aluminum, manganese, nickel and zinc as well as other non-metals. Just as gender identity may or may not match a person’s gender expression, the artwork’s true nature is fluid and non-binary.
The botanical definition of the Perfect or Complete Flower is one which contains both male and female parts. The most complex and luscious blooms are usually Perfect Flowers, such as the rose. My work describes and contrasts the variety of botanical sexuality to humanity’s narrowly defined sexuality and gender. The definition of “natural” is a constructed “norm” which defies the potential and beauty of the human experience.
In the plant world, in nature, reproduction and gender are varied and often fluid. Some plants even change from male to female (and vice versa) over the plant’s lifetime.
The initial artwork exploration for Garden of Diversity created in 2012. Botanical, Historical and Cultural Symbolism is referenced. The shadows reference how LGBTQ people often have lived in the shadows historically.
Lead Artist: Denise R. Duarte. Artist Team: Lois Dohra, Sophia Lenz and Cyd Madson. part of the 100 Years of Influence: The Role of Women in Shaping the First Hundred Years of Las Vegas by Women of Diversity Productions, Inc. as part of the Las Vegas Centennial, site locations: Joseph Anderson Art Gallery of the Nevada State Library and Archives, Carson City, Nevada, Sprint Corporate Office Atrium, Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Las Vegas Art Museum.
Terra Las Vegas is the visual translation of the effects of water and wind, nature’s tools that shape & form the earth. Our valley, with its jagged knife edged fault block mountains to its alluvial fans, is a testament to erosion.