A Common Reality
November 14, 2019 - March 8, 2020
Candace Sanderson’s latest body of work explores the visible and invisible structures that hold women back. For generations women’s rights movements have fought and continue to fight for the fair treatment and civil liberties of all women. Over the last year, Sanderson has been creating work by confronting the reality of her own personal experiences, actively exploring on her own terms what it means to be a woman today. A Common Reality is a reference to the spaces that we all occupy. It is also an acknowledgement of how different our experience of that same reality is based on our gender.
One of the central images of the exhibition is a series of interlocking female doll figures, braided into a daisy chain net. Each of their rope ties show the common bond that unites the women when woven into a tapestry of similar experiences. The X X pattern additionally repeats in the large sculptures that dominate the room, artistic interpretations of manmade structures known as Czech hedgehogs, originally built as barricades during the Second World War. Sanderson was interested in the sculptural form of the anti-tank fortifications because her relatives fought during the battle on the Beaches of Normandy in 1944. However, as a metaphor for the obstacles that women face on a daily basis, the sculptures function to slow down and redirect the forward movement of military troops. This is a common reality for women who face barriers to accessing legal workplace protections, equal opportunities for career advancement and are constantly judged for how they look and dress their own bodies. If we all take a step back to take in the whole picture it becomes clear that in order to close the gender inequality gap, we need to remove these obstacles in order to work towards the goal of a truly common reality.
Featured Image: Rope Dolls (in process), Candace Sanderson