Mercedes is an artist who works mainly with textiles and stitching, drawing on her life experiences as a woman for inspiration. Previous works include ‘The Mother’, as shown above, which draws us into a dialogue of the role of a mother, featuring an ambivalent suggestion of physical demands.
The work which will be discussed here featured a collection of 3 pieces of work which address the similar theme of the mother. They were presented in a group, as roughly illustrated below.
The work consisted of a graphite representation of a uterous surrounding a pink plastic peg, a pair of hand-sewn fabric representations of breasts suspended on the wall, and a large graphite title declaring ‘Like a 24hrs shop ready to serve’
Whilst the works were recognisably referring to a common theme, I will discuss them separately, as I feel they were strong enough to stand alone, or in a group, rather than collectively as one piece.
The Uterous. Containing a pink peg in contrast to the drawing surrounding it, this suggested domestic chores, which are chores after all- and the choice of colour, associated with the femine, was supported by the female reproductive organs. A peg is an object with which to hold something up, but it can also pinch. This seemed really fitting, echoing the nurturing, or ‘holding in’ of the foetus, and also the physical pain of childbirth. The inclusion of an actual peg brought it into the present, rather than presenting it as a nostalgic image, suggesting an ongoing use.
The Breasts. Visibly hand sewn from calico and pink fabric