Elise Venia

stoneware, coated copper wire
108 x 30 5 in.

In America’s chaotic society, many women are forced to feel vulnerable. The world is constantly evolving. Society demands multitasking, creating a sense of schizophrenia. The rigorous pace of the world manifests helplessness within us, heightening our concern for protection. We protect ourselves physically, sexually, technologically, our identities, privacy, and pride. My work provides a new type of security. It is equally unnecessary as the obsession with security itself.

I use unglazed stoneware and high gauge wire to make life sized garments. These materials add to the weight of the work while making it fragile. Their construction suggests a type of armor or chain mail. Each piece of clothing is extended and combined abnormally. Like other forms of protection, their complexity outweighs their merits.

Process is imperative to the work. The production is meticulous, monotonous, and obsessive, like knitting or sewing. Each unit is uniquely formed and every hole drilled by hand. Each wire is individually cut and twisted into place. I work in multiples, but each element has a distinct shape or texture.

My work embodies the vulnerability of society and our fixation with protecting ourselves. It reflects each woman’s search for the delicate balance between security and captivity.

© Elise Venia