Freya Clarke


This body of work comments both on the societal expectations of the behaviour of women and the representation of women in the context of imagery. Women have been treated as an object to be depicted since oil paintings centuries ago and with that constraint has come societal and behavioural expectations, a burden that men regarded as the dominant sex do not have to bear. The sight of a woman smiling is common in imagery such as magazines or advertisement billboards however, the social politics behind a smile are often overlooked, a smile if too small is seen to have attitude and if too large is seen as hysteric. The gradual increase of the women’s smile which is taken to excessive levels in this performance represents a defiance to conform to these expectations.

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