Although this series of work has only recently taken form, it has been molded by the past decade of my work in the service industry. In truth, this work’s inspiration stems further back, budding from my first awareness of the commentary my female body welcomes without my verbal consent.
Each remark, command, and question are direct quotes taken from the male customers at the restaurant I work at. This series acts as a personal release to gain a new form of ownership over the words said to me by men. It is the acknowledgement of the words that echo sexism, microaggression, and sexual harassment heard not only in the workplace but in all spaces.
This series breathes with intention. The guest checkbooks are objects that have made their way into my life as I unconsciously bring them home, accumulating them over the years of serving and bartending. These notepads attach themselves to my body during my shifts, becoming a part of me, possessing the physical quality of fragility, reflected within small rips and tears that can only be inspected from a close distance. The pointed sewing needle reflects the sharp pain of microaggressions that slowly and unconsciously reveals itself and worsens through repeated language. Just as the stitches in these works are permanently punctured, the words said to me by men cannot be erased or undone.
My needle, sewing thread, and guest checkbooks act as tools of meditative resistance while referencing the historically rooted practice of cross-stitching and needlework as “women’s work.” This series aims to grow into one-hundred works that individually and collectively question the male-dominated society we live in while acting as a living force of both personal release and newfound ownership of my female form.
About the Artist
Morgan Bukovec is a mixed media maker, educator, storyteller and collector of things from Cleveland, Ohio. Having recently received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and Art Education from the University of Dayton, her studio practice is interdisciplinary with a focus on the themes: identity, storytelling, fleeting moments and objects across time. Recent group exhibitions include: /DIFFERENT STROKES/, Female Artist Club, Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition, and Domestic Lands in Cleveland , Ohio, which is expected to open Spring of 2021. Morgan works at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland as a Thoma Engagement Guide Apprentice and part-time educator, while creating narrative-based art work in her home studio. Morgan finds joy in storytelling, learning, and collecting ephemeral things.
© Morgan Bukovec