Let’s Hook Up

Let’s Hook Up was the title of my graduate exhibition at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD)  from June 17th 2016. This work was done as part of a joint degree in fine art and art history.

In this project, I looked into the visuals and meaning of underwear and how this can be expressed. Lingerie particularly fascinates me; the separation from functionality to highly decorative intimate apparel that is sensual and at times entirely impractical, creates layers of meaning that are often confusing and contradictory. Sex and power go hand in hand and lingerie is intrinsically linked to both.

I studied and was influenced by texts such as Fields, Jill (2007) An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie and Sexuality, Gamman, Lorraine & Mackinen, Merja (1994) Female Fetishism: A New Look, and Steele, Valerie (1985) Fashion and Eroticism. I became aware of how underwear and the clothes we wear can affect our lives and point to particular societal codes. I looked to other artists who worked with underwear such as Sarah Lucas, Susan Taylor-Glasgow and Wang Zhiyuan to see what stories they told and how the materials and context affected the narrative.

Underwear and female sexuality can both be taboo subjects. I wanted to take these as themes that may cause feelings of embarrassment and vulnerability and turn them into something beautiful.