Ilana Bartlett

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Constantly evolving out of a compendium of source material, my art showcases a personal interest in photography, cartoons, mythology, and mark-making, emerging to celebrate female identity, sexuality, and thought.

Through contrasting techniques, both old and new methods are situated within an imaginative process, translating my mind's eye and thought process through composition, colour, and line. Digital manipulations, advertisements, childhood cartoons, and contemporary visual culture interweave through diverse processes such as screenprinting, woodcutting, and collage, to advance the marks made in the next medium. This combines to evolve the original, in a rebirth of sorts.
Developing this through collage and print, my work makes continuous references to major themes of reclamation, the female body, advertisement, and mythology, in a reaction against the archaic narratives of mythological women in western art history. I focus on these concepts, as well as Jacque Lacan's ''Mirror Stage'' theory and John Berger's ''Ways of Seeing'' (1972), using them as source material to critique the associated visual codes that present the female as a glamourous facade or in the case of printmaking, a ''reproductive whore''. This has recently driven my practice in a new direction: the ''Pithoi Pussies'' series draws upon Hesiod's creation myth of Pandora, the first woman created from clay, to rebuke her association with betrayal, objectification, and a deceptive interior. This series is intended to showcase the resulting dichotomy of female representation in visual culture, through the painted two-dimensionality of a 3D object.

One work informs the other, building a visual metaphor associated with time, appropriation, and mark-making. The resulting appearance of the multiple in my practice intentionally indicates the diversity of female identity, autonomy, and thought, with the aim to redefine the perception of the female in art and today's society. 

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