Don’t be such a girl! Dumb, stupid, sensitive, fearful, fragile, feminine, emotional, precious, pathetic, weak and useless.
In front of me is a photograph. I am 5 years old and surrounded by my brother and cousins. I am the only one looking into the camera. I am grinning my head off. For Christmas I received a pretty pink plastic love heart ring and necklace. I am absolutely chuffed.
Our parents raised my brother and I as equals. We were given the same chores and duties around the family farm and home. We built go-carts and rafts together. We loved climbing and comics. We shared a train set. We had different tastes but they were personal rather than gendered.
Somewhere early in my childhood I began to realise the world related to me differently than my immediate family. Being a girl meant there were certain things expected of me including imposed limitations. I started seeing pink as an accusation, and sometimes an insult. It took me until my mid-20s to reconcile that the problem was not a particular colour. Nor was it that I am a woman.
During the 21 years of my art practice I have focused on identity. Exploring how the threads of our experiences make up the fabric of our personal narratives. These inform us of who we are, how we relate to the world and in turn how the world relates to us. This body of work explores my childhood ambivalence at being a girl.
Dare was selected as one of the artists to produce work for the Bunbury Biennale 2021.
Exhibited Bunbury Regional Art Gallery 6 March – 6 June 2021.