I say a little prayer for you; gathering material

i say a little prayer for you 02

For January Seminar, I’ve made the call to extend the work from Everyone’s a Stranger to me now, inviting women to make self portraits which I then collate and install/perform for the exhibition and assessment.

Formal invitation:

‘I say a little prayer for you’, an invitation.

You are warmly invited to contribute to the project; ‘I say a little prayer for you: gathering material’, by Angela Rowe.

About the project

This project involves the collection of self portraits; in the form of traces of makeup from women’s faces, becoming a collection of both intimate singular moments and shared experiences.

How can you contribute?

Following the process as outlined, you are invited to make and return your self portrait, all submissions remain anonymous and your participation is voluntary. Supplied are two pieces of cloth, prepaid return envelopes and instructions.

What happens next?

The finished works will be installed in a gallery and will be part of Angela’s MFA studio research. Photographs and other documentation will be available to participants if requested, and may be exhibited in the future, shared on social media and on Angela’s blogs as part of her MFA studies, Angela retains ownership of the finished work, the work may be exhibited or presented in other formats or galleries.

About Angela’s practice:

Angela lives and works in Whangarei, Aotearoa New Zealand and is an MFA candidate at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. Her studio research circulates around a number of themes, including performance, evocative objects and the usually private world of the home interior. I say a little prayer for you engages with contemporary feminist discourse around women’s bodies; how women negotiate public / private spaces, and perform their lives. Collecting and presenting evidence of shared experiences and private rituals, this project offers a means to understand relationships, making connections through individuals and time.

MFA blog
https:// angelacartermfa.wordpress.com/
Blog www.mermaidspurse.org.nz

i say a little prayer for you 01How to create your self portrait:

The process is similar to removing make up, the intention is to capture an impression of your face by removing some of your make up, makeup remover is not required. You are supplied with two pieces of cloth, you can use both, and return both, or return one and keep one for yourself.

Wet the cloth with enough water to saturate it, hold it lengthways (portrait) in both hands, press it firmly on your face. You may find tilting your head back helps the cloth to drape fully on your face. Press firmly over your face for a few seconds, gently rub or simply press over your face to collect as much make up as possible.

Remove the cloth, allow to dry overnight.

When fully dry, place in the supplied envelope and post back 8th of January 2019.

Thank you !

Angela Rowe

Some thoughts so far….

It’s a big step, time is tight, and all those doubts, what if no-one is into it? what if people change their mind? what if the letterbox is vandalised by some feckers and the mail doesn’t reach me on time? (actually happened….) That’s the risk, but it’s also where the potential for an interesting project is. So far, seventy women have volunteered to participate, and I have the first nine self portraits back, and they are beautiful.

I invited women in person; women in my family, friends and women in my community, women I know through work, fellow artists, students and women I share online spaces with. The invitation rapidly sparked conversation around make-up, pressure to perform, self esteem, age, motherhood, role-modelling, time, health, mental health and wellness. This was exciting and I did not expect such an enthusiastic and thoughtful response to the concept. These women are amazing.

So I made a request for any stories or reflections from participants, that they are happy to share with the work.

A few questions:

Optional questions and feedback about the project, if you have time and thoughts to share I would really appreciate it! No obligation.

Inviting women to participate in this project has opened up some conversations already, and I would like to understand more about the intentions of the participants. This helps me present the work, honouring contributions to the project and women who have shared in making it.

If you have any comments on this project or responses to comments below, please let me know. I may use this anonymously in forming my contextual statement and in the exhibition. I would love to know more about why you wanted to be involved and what it was like for you.

Politically, this is a charged time for women in Aotearoa, conversations about women’s experiences, equality, and violence against women at the hands of men. This time of the year can heighten stress on women, especially around care work, providing a festive holiday, pressures of work and stress from family events, grief and loss of loved ones may rise to the surface. I started this project at a time of huge emotional change and relationship upheaval, which I can see is reflected in my self portraits.

The self portraits I have been making made me consider how I ‘perform’ my life, and they also captured a trace of me, but also are not me, as they are made only of make up.

The medium of make up also calls to mind performance of femininity, fashion, feminism, is make up a pleasure or an obligation? How do you feel about make up? How do you feel about your self portrait?

You can follow the project on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/prettymermaidspurse/

Feel free to instagram your self portrait, tag me, and use this hash tag #isayalittleprayerforyougatheringmaterial

i say a little prayer for you work in


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