In this Aboriginal art work, I wanted to portray the ambiguity that emerges within the concept of people and fashion: tribal stature and armour. The human form/mask became the site for decoration: projectors of images. The mannequin, 'empty vessels' represented armour: to protect the mind, soul, heart and the physical body; emotional suits of protection, barriers against intimacy; and disguises, allowing the 'acting out' of acceptable western behaviour and image. Unfortunately, the suits of armour proved to be more of an emotional prison than a protection. By using the armours, I had learnt to hide me: my identity; my traumas; my pain; and my vulnerability to others. Margo McClintock (1990 p.40) in the Eyeline: review writes 'the mannequin pieces in the installation encapsulated and integrated opposing elements of fragility and strength, presence and absence, fragmentation and wholeness. Their construction in pieces, their hollowness, and lack of head and appendages was balanced by a solidity of structure and materials. These mute life-size figures were given a voice by small accretions on the metal form, or inclusions of fragments and tiny symbols from nature and culture, which are embedded in resin, like a fleeting gad-fly immortalized in a piece of amber. These works bring together the idea and fragmentation of female life and identity, and a sense of female experience as a creative one which is constantly working to weld the pieces together. Pam Croft's experience manifests itself in her art as a quietly positive rather critical expression; a gentle force, but one that is not easily resisted.' For non-Aboriginal peoples images are determined externally- rather than spiritually. For Aboriginal peoples who we are comes from within.
Lithograph Print with Watercolour, Wax, Gauze and Charcoal. (24X40) Unframed.
About Dr Pamela Croft