Amanda Bromfield :: Damned Whores and God's Police
20 Aug - 24 Sept 2016
As a young child I was told that I should be a good girl. As a teenager I remember thinking that it was the bad girls who had the most fun. I wanted to be good but I also wanted to be bad.
I have often wondered what defines a woman as good or bad and who decides upon the criteria that, creates the stereotype by which women are judged? This installation is about the ‘good’ woman stereotype and the ‘bad’ woman stereotype.
I have researched the work of three Australian artists; author Anne Summers and visual artists Joy Hester and Albert Tucker. Summers researched the social history of women in Australia; she found that the origins of the good and bad woman were established during colonial settlement of the colony of NSW. Women were either convicts and whores or, the genteel redeemers of social morals, Summers called these women of virtue “the God’s Police”. Hester and Tucker were married for a short period of time, however, despite their marriage the two artists depicted women in very different ways. Hester painted the good woman, the mothers, daughters and innocent children. Tucker painted the bad women, the prostitutes and tarts in St Kilda during World War 2.
I have created my own glazes and surface treatments to accentuate the contrast between the good and bad women. Glazes of varying colours, textures and consistencies create an illusion, dry pastel glazes create a degree of naivety and innocence and vibrant and glossy glazes conjure the darker side of life.
The installation sits upon a mirror. The mirror allows the viewer to see the installation from an unusual angle, this new perspective creates another dimension, the viewer, now becomes a part of the installation but for only a moment, this enables the viewer to glimpse these women from a different perspective.