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Dolls continue to play a critical role in prescribing gender roles, just like the steam iron or vacuum cleaner are objects associated with domesticity. In “Artemis,” I have recreated the classic Sindy doll - Barbie’s competitor from the United Kingdom. Sindy was/is like Barbie a “socially constructed concept,” a toy designed to reinforce reproduction, heterosexuality, a specific cultural identity. Both narrate gender roles through accessories and icons that promise a domestic dreamland. By contrast, today's contemporaries of Sindy and Barbie are emancipated from mere domestic life into power outside the home with multiple career choices, cultural diversity and as of recent- gender neutrality. The name Cynthia or Cindy is an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis who was born on Mount Cynthus. I’ve taken the image of Sindy and reinterpreted her into the mythological Artemis- the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, vegetation, chastity and reproduction. In this work, I have intentionally omitted the hunting arrow and knife that typically symbolize Artemis. Here, in a state of urgency, she reckons with identity and the spirit of her sisters. Her ability to create her own destiny has been crushed and constrained from choice and decision. She has been stripped of her power. In light of the war on women’s health care and reproductive rights affecting women today, I call on all of us to reappropriate Artemis. This work includes the following mixed media: oil paint, glitter, fabric, insects, bird feathers, rabbit fur, embroidery thread, pins, plastic, glass ornaments and nails on canvas.


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