Sarah B. Woods

What Does It Feel Like For A Girl?

bath poufs, hair weaves, ribbon, felt, clamp lights, steel, Martha Stewart Singer sewing machine and box

Material play and process are integral parts of my studio practice. Everyday materials are tied, tacked, braided and wrapped with string, duct tape, vinyl, and nylon giving new life to mundane materials. I search for brightly colored materials at grocery and discount stores where they can be purchased in large quantities, embracing the dual attraction/repulsion that these materials embody. I enjoy the repetitive nature of handwork and the opportunity for unstructured play.

My current materials of choice are bath poufs. I collect, deconstruct, braid, and arrange them into sculptural forms. Vibrant pink and red synthetic hair weaves are intertwined into the braided poufs. I am interested in the similar materiality of the poufs and weaves and their use on the body. The brightly colored materials are transformed into long, braided tendrils that embody the female form. The vibrating, contrasting colors are meant to invoke sensual pleasure.

I want these sculptural forms to acknowledge their relationship to sexuality and gender and relate to the internal and external experiences of the female body. I simultaneously critique my own acts of consumption as a source of empowerment and pleasure in response to messages sent by the mass media that persuade me to explore my autonomy and identity as a woman through the consumption of commercial products.