Feminist Artists Essay

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The purpose of my essay is to discuss the various different approaches that female artists have used to challenge women’s identity as the inferior sex and how they have attempted to promote the deconstruction of gender throughout history. I want to explore how the earlier Feminist Artists influenced the work of subsequent female artists and facilitated their success within the art world. I will show how Feminist Artists used their own perspective and personal experiences to create a natural link between the viewer and the artwork, often with the intention of encouraging a change both socially and politically. Their artwork often utilised what would be considered traditionally female skills such as craft techniques, a prime example of which…show more content…
Prehistorical goddess traditions which can be evidenced by archaeological records and surviving oral traditions celebrated and revered the female form. The female form represented life itself, and some have speculated that these traditions could be linked to an early matrilineal society. The original conception of the goddess is that of Mother Earth, the sacred female force responsible for the creation of the Universe. This Primordial Goddess received and recycled plant, animal and human matter in death, and created new life from these remains. Original depictions of the Primordial Goddess are symbolic and date back to the Palaeolithic era (Lower Palaeolithic 2,500,000 B.C.E. to 120,000 B.C.E.; Middle Palaeolithic, from 300,000 to 30,000 B.C.E.; and Upper Palaeolithic 30,000 to 10,000 B.C.E.). (See Fig 1) Common images were used to represent the vulva, motifs such as a seed, spirals or an eye were often used. This was a way to link the female body with the reproductive qualities of nature. During the Upper Palaeolithic era, this worship of the Primordial Goddess increased and many scholars believe that during this period, the female body was also linked to the changing seasons. It is thought that the cycles of nature were reflected in the cycles of the female body, such as menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and even lactation. These traditions can be found reflected in many different conceptions of the divine female around the world, which all owe something to this early appreciation for the Primordial Goddess. The First Feminist Wave saw female artists exploring and exploiting female experiences. Their use of vaginal imagery and menstrual blood, their use of their own bodies and female nudity sought to challenge and desensitise the male exploitation of the female form. The female form was seen as
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