Appearance, Presence: Duality in Femininity
an ongoing series depicting the multi-dimensional woman
by Claire Flath (she/her)
Artist Claire Flath (b. 1998) is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Her latest, on-going series features the women in her life; depicting them as themselves through color, pattern, natural elements, and pose to depict the women as they truly are through drawings and paintings. This work embraces femininity, the reclaiming of womanhood, and encourages the viewer to find moments of empowerment in themselves.
A note from the artist
Women cannot escape their political nature, whether it's focused on our representation, our bodies, or our individual decisions. Beginning this body of work, I’ve asked 5 women “Where do you feel most powerful?” inadvertently discovering more of their personalities, thoughts, and views on the injustices that women face today. Through this process, I’ve found that women are still frustrated by the male-dominant world around them and the nuances of femininity are largely undervalued. Each portrait shows only what identifies her, (face, arms, hair) while also depicting the multifaceted nature of each woman’s personality: the serious-at-times, yet comical nature of Hanann, or the colorful and poised Cora.
Using both color, pattern, and the model’s pose, the viewer can better understand who these people are at their best and most empowered. Because along with lack of recognition, women still lack the courage to be who they are outside of the home. It all started with myself, feeling that I need to hide parts of my femininity in my male-dominated field in order to be taken seriously. My work is an encouragement to all those who feel the need to hide, or pretend, for those who are frustrated by lack of progress, or by those who need to feel seen. This work is not inherently political in imagery or process, but the emotions behind the faces drawn are.
"Feminism is becoming more palatable for men and we’re trying to manufacture it ... I want to see women exist and not have to change so much about themselves."
"I feel most powerful when I’m moving my body. As someone who struggles a lot with being in my head,, getting out and moving my body it really does help recenter everything."
Artwork: Claire Flath (she/her)
Thank you to Cora, Brandie, Jillian, and Sam for your collaboration. Special thanks to Alex, Hanann, and Maria for sharing your side of the process.
This project was commissioned by Sibling Collaborative LTD as part of Sibling Series: Witches and Bitches
Page Design: Mia Quimpo Gourlay (she/her)
Facilitated by: Madalena Miles (she/her)