Faye Park

Happily Mutton No Longer Lamb
16 x 9 x 6 in.

In 1985 while teaching in Africa, my colleague turned to me and said,”Well, there’s mutton dressed up as lamb”. At the time we were in our thirties and had not yet faced the challenges of aging.

These clay sculptures are half woman, half mutton; ambiguous forms that metaphorically describe the stage of life when one is “too old to be young and too young to be old”. Aging in America is not an easy task. We are a culture that worships youth, vitality, and physical beauty.

Today, opportunities in education and the work place are much brighter for mature women. Yet, women feel compelled to remain “physically” young. We insist on clinging to the media’s definition of beauty rather than redefining beauty to encompass more than the physical realm. We undergo numerous surgeries, erasing nature’s record of the tragedies and triumphs of our lives.

It is incumbent upon us to project the roles of mature women in our society in a positive light. We face the challenge of embracing our sensuality without appearing silly, without surgery. Mature women have the responsibility and the opportunity to redefine aging and present mature women as intelligent, productive, and joyful members of society. – Age: 55

© Faye Park