“My work is an exploration of the question: how can women truly feel safe in their own skins? ”
– Hope Esser
Hope was a recent feature in the student show, “While in Class” exhibited at Woman Made Gallery in January of 2010. Her thoughtful and enticing sculptural, mixed-media installation piece entitled, Powersuit 2- Shoes embraced her distinctive style by combining the fabrication of genre garments with the inquiry of gender roles and their associated dominance. Her work has a feminist quality that often encompasses the clashes between individual identification and social dictation; her figures are attractive with comfortable materials enveloping an often abrasive message about the inequalities and threats of a woman’s reality.
She writes, “What we wear and how we present ourselves go hand in hand with our perceived role in society. My work is an exploration of these roles with particular emphasis on gender and power. My work uses garment as a metaphor to engage with what it means to feel powerful for many different women. These topics have the
potential to be universal, though my inquiry of them began at the most personal level. The most critical artwork that I have done was based on the murder of my best friend from high school. The details of Julia’s death, the fact that she was strangled because of attempted rape, and the many uncomfortable and dangerous situations that my female friends, relatives, and even myself have been through, has left me with questions….questions lingering about gender, power, and society.”
*Hope was one of three students awarded an honorary Gallery Membership for her outstanding work in the “While in Class…” show.
-Stephanie El Tawil, WMG Intern