Boy Things, Girl Things, 2014
Crocheted and knitted acrylic, cotton, plastic and wool, polyfil
Boy Things, Girl Things was my first completed textile piece. At the time that I made it, I was beginning my journey into fiber and my interest in the division of art and craft in our culture. I was, and still am, particularly interested in exploring the separations and overlaps of fiber crafts and fiber arts and what role gender has to play in this concept. Historically art is male dominated and fiber is feminine and domestic. This was a very solid idea in my mind when I began creating this piece.
When I initially began creating Boy Things, Girl Things one of my classmates let me know that they thought I was making a plethora of phallic objects. My professors at the time (all men) were telling me things like “it will be hard to make art out of yarn.” Or that I should “try crocheting with something else, like grass!” One of them even told me that my work was “not art, but merely decoration.” “But why?” I asked. He didn’t know...
Because history taught me that all the great artists were men, and fiber was a leisurely pastime, unconsciously, I had made my art male in order for my fiber work to have a place in the art world.
– Emily Brodrick (Somerville, MA)