Pricks is a work of protest art that takes inspiration from southwestern vegetation and subverts their phallic association, re-centering female anatomy within the context of desert scape. These printed objects are apart of reclaiming the landscape I grew up in and inserting my queerness and femininity into a space where I had previously not felt secure enough to openly display it. Cacti are an incredibly tenacious and strong genus and I find strength in their ability to withstand harsh conditions and thrive with limited resources in unwelcoming conditions. The distance attending Art school in Chicago has given me is what is driving my urges to reconnect with the nature from my childhood but also empowering me to make work expressing ideas that I had not previously been bold enough to explore because of my environment. In planning this project I aimed to create a biological guard and redesign the external surface of female anatomy to reflect a shared desire to protect against harm. A sentiment that has even more significance in light of the current political agenda threatening the autonomy of female bodies. We instinctively insert human bias into nature, this work undermines a personal history of negative connotations to create a new reflection of identity. By framing vulvic imagery within a nocuous barricade the assumption of tangibility and access is shifted. Societal representations of vaginal folds as beckoning all-enveloping forms are met with a clash of metal wire woven into the framework of the sculpture. These pieces physically object to careless interaction and stand in defiance against the violence inflicted onto female bodies.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Maddie Wilmink is a multimedia artist striving to create work that supports both the individual consumer and the planet. With a focus on bio-tec and sustainable design she aims to produce pieces that engage with a larger issue in their environment and respond to local ecology. Taking inspiration from her childhood spent switching between the American southwest and Vancouver Canada, Maddie reflects on humanity through landscape and organic systems. Her work spans from sculptural structures and furniture, to interactive pieces and wearable art that amplifies or contorts the human form. Her experience with illustration, metalworking, casting, ceramics, and digital fabrication allows Maddie to create both strategically and intuitively. Her work has been shown within the School of the Art Institute and most recently in a small group installation at the Field Museum, winter 2021. She strives to heighten awareness of the human impact on the natural world by using processed urban materials, like metal and salvaged scrap that has lost its function within our industrial society. By reverting their forms into new objects that pay homage to nature she seeks to restore balance and forge alternative perception. A critic of late stage capitalism and and avocare for free sextuality and gender equality, Maddie’s work uses queer idenity and a deep love of nature to disort reality and offer a surrealist alternative to our current dystopia.
© Maddie Wilmink