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Frame from an animated GIF

Ceramic pot

Small painted sketches

Painted object in progress

Painted object in progress

Maisy Zane

Through the objects that I have created, I aim to represent everyday narratives from a female vantage. I have come to define every day in a very personal way, emphasising mundanity and drawing on my own emotional state in what has been a turbulent but also extremely static time.

Having originally been led into making ‘pots’, or pot-shaped objects due to my interest in narrative and story, the idea of the pot has become the vessel for much more. These have now become a way to explore self, womanhood, women’s art practices. I share with many other female artists interest in the bodily and its relationship to pots/sculptures. Tactility and bulbous forms are important to me, giving each object character and comforting anthropomorphic quality.

My work questions a hierarchy that has been imposed on the arts, which seeks to separate fine art and craft as binary concepts (with the latter being denigrated to a lesser status). This is a profoundly gendered issue; craft’s relationship with women, the domestic and the functional has led to its dismissal in largely androcentric art history. I am interested in asking who has the right to decide what art is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or to which institution it belongs.

I aim to draw attention to the many contradictions, hypocrisies, and limitations that this hierarchy generates by making pot-shaped forms and using ‘craft’ materials (such as papier mache and mod-roc). Placing these simple materials within the gallery space, I demonstrate the power that curation plays in elevating the status of an object.

Our perceptions of craft are heavily influenced by Eurocentric views, as well as our gendered bias. My interest in these ideas began to influence my practice whilst writing my dissertation, An exploration of selected South African women artists rendering socio-political critiques during apartheid and post-1994. Since writing this, I have been accepted to study MA History at SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies), London. I hope to continue my fine art practice whilst I study for my master’s degree, and to allow my research to infiltrate my making.

Final year project

Painted Objects