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Unraveling Gender

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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 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 significance of this project is to reframe the dialogue regarding the true nature of sexuality and identity utilizing the botanical world as a metaphor. The issue of acceptance of all people with the eradication of homophobia and genderphobia is a timely and necessary contemporary endeavor. 

Materials: Bronze and Aluminum window screen, screws and nails.

Created: 2017

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