When my project pack arrived I was struck and somewhat daunted by the masculinity of a male pictogram and intense blue felt material. I knew then my piece would have to be about men in a way I could relate to. So it is about fatherhood and called Men Have Children Too.
I come from quite a strong matriarchal family so it’s a reminder for women like me to be inclusive and recognise the male role in parenting.
It is also saying men should act on their responsibilities to family.
Wouldn’t it be great if all employers and governments could provide good paternity leave and flexible working conditions that take account of family needs?
Family pictures showing men with their offspring were printed onto fabric for the pictograms. I found enough to span 7 generations. Luckily the men I’m aware of have been wonderful fathers despite some dominant women!
Digitised male figures were embroidered onto a net ‘family tree’ then layered over male gender symbols.
It was useful to have extra felt for sampling.
I was dissatisfied by my attempts to illustrate ‘daddy’ and eventually digitised the word written by my 4 year old granddaughter who is just learning to write lettering at school.
Speech bubbles were added for balance and to add a more light hearted element to the design. They were digitised in the software because I didn’t think I could free motion such small lettering.
I enjoy a project that challenges me and this one did. Creating the work was a time for reflection and nostalgia.
Only when I’d finished did I notice how much I had softened the masculinity suggested by my project pack!