14 '' x 21 ''
'Historians agree that the corset...represented virtue, chastity, and good breeding, while an unlaced waist was regarded as a vessel of sin: coarse, unrefined, and promiscuous. It is impossible to imagine this symbolism without a patriarchal context in which female sexuality is suppressed and controlled at the whims of men...as a manifestation of broader chauvinist control.' - The Infamous Hourglass: Constructing the Perfect Female Figure by Elise Liu
This piece was inspired by the medical consequences of corsetry and patriarchal domination over the female body. It is a play on the aftermath of the corset being removed, based on Victorian X-rays. The tapestry is designed to look like an exposed chest cavity, the ribs paper thin and cracked open, the lung tissue tattered and frayed. However, there is also a lightness to the composition now that the referenced element of control has been removed. Mull (an open weave linen) makes up the delicate ghost of bones, and Swedish cotton yarn was used as the background of the piece. The spine and feathered lungs are represented in a vintage silk-linen thread, whose hand spun nature gives this mounted specimen a life of its own.
It is hanging on a hand-sanded oak dowel, suspended by a piece of deerskin leather.