Thursday, December 18, 2008

Softly Softly Images of Femininity, Andrea Magnuson, Harcourt House, November 27 - December 20, REVIEWED by Erin Carter

Andrea Magnuson wants to seam rip the mythical threads of perceived femininity using collage as her tool. Applying found objects to create a backdrop of communication, Magnuson received her B.A. in Woman Studies in 2007. Living in Vancouver she now scopes the city streets looking for lost or tossed objects to create new forms out of old topics. Softly Softly Images of Femininity opens with a discarded pattern framed in a shadow box against a red backdrop.

Using thread and other such methods to frame found objects such as book covers and cut-outs of a fifties cowgirl, Magnuson tries to discuss our pre-conceptions of what it means to be a girl in the year 2008. A woman careening through life on a horse with the word "modern" printed underneath didn’t quite say “we’re breaking down the wall of feminine image” to me. Other found items used were a butterfly and cutouts of birds, which lacked strength and seemed out of place in the exhibit.

I found that the concept of breaking down preconceived notions of femininity was a strong conviction supported on a weak canvas. The use of found objects was an interesting technique--- that has been done time and again. The work seems a little more like a craft exercise than a piece with a message.

Image credit: Andrea Magnuson, 2008

- E.C. Edmonton


Anonymous said...

Erin Carter has missed the mark in her review of Andrea Magnuson's recent exhibition at the Harcourt House. Craft elements and mid-century motifs play upon traditional stero-types of femininity in a subtle, but engaging way. I liked Magnuson's technique, and hope to see more of her work in the future.

Jenn Myer said...

What dimension does Erin Carter live in? Apparently the concept behind this exhibition went right over her head! It wasn't about being a "girl" in 2008, it was an exercise that explored the images, roles and feelings evoked by mid-century images of femininty in a contemporary setting.

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