Steel Town Disciples is a series of twelve constructedstill life images offering tactile denim sculptures painted in light. In eachstill life image, totems of the ‘authentic’ man are stitched and shrouded usingheavily gendered modes of craft. Chainsaws, working boots and saddles, trivialsymbols of masculinity, are coated in denim and bound with thread against itshard form. The denim materials origin as a rugged and durable fabric bearingthe hard labour of American cowboys, rebelling against authority in the 1950sbefore outfitting the working class heroes of Bruce Springsteen and JimmyBarnes is referenced and repositioned in a camping of popular notions of manhood.
Thistactile and tough material quality of denim is transformed and repositioned into a new still life context. Here, the assumed power of masculine iconographyand symbolism are dissolved into eroticism and conflated with the romantic anddelicate.
Traditionalstill life representations of ripened fruit are inserted alongside theseheavily constructed sculptures, contrasting their rigid form and fetishising thenature of the objects. Alternate elements of cream and bound rope aim tofurther intimate at an erotic exchange shifting the power and status ofmasculine ownership further away from the initial subject.
Thisseries of work playfully interrogates the construction and performance ofnormative and dominant masculinities and their iconography and in doing so,aims to contest the authority of prevailing masculinities and their commonplacerepresentations.