In Sculpture I class last semester we took a field trip in the snow… it was worth it. We went to Keystone College to see an art exhibit of works from Katie Hovencamp.
We were all girls in the class and throughout the semester we had been discussing women’s rights just in casual conversation. Some of us even did sculptures with messages pertaining to women’s rights. Katie Hovencamp’s artwork was perfect for our class because she touched on topics we talked about and more. We originally went to see all these different neck collars that Hovencamp had sculpted in response to the uniforms females have to wear to some schools. Although I enjoyed those pieces, I fell in love with her drawings.
This piece was my favorite it, as reminded me of Disney princesses but giving them a stronger aesthetic. The cat faces and their position on the bodies are very powerful. The word pussy is sometimes used to describe a woman’s genitals (often in a negative way) and in this case I feel she took that word and made it into an empowering term that is no longer negatively stigmatized. When we were discussing the pieces as a class we all agreed that we were drawn to this particular piece, which I think shows you its power and proves art’s influence on people.
Hovencamp also had a series of illustration-like drawings that had young girls or grown women shaded in with patterns, almost like wall papers, and they were doing something to a non-patterned woman. The actions being done to the woman were actions we see women doing today to themselves to try and make themselves look better or more beautiful. I loved how the girls were just outlines and then filled with patterns because it was as if they were invisible or were supposed to blend into the “background” in some way. I took the series as giving the message of how women try and tell each other what looks good or bad in the world of beauty or maybe as one’s childhood self calling the shots in the beauty department.
I liked this series so much that I did a sketch based on it. This is only the second or third time I have ever been so inspired by another artist or exhibit that I wanted to do something just like it; try it out for myself. I did a sketch; nothing spectacular or anything like that but it was the first time in a while that I was excited to do something in my sketchbook; other things were feeling more like chores rather than art. In the end, this little field trip before spring break did more for me then I ever could have imagined.