liz steketee (BFA 1992)
liz steketee photography 10 Madrona Street San Rafael, CA, 94901 http://www.lizsteketee.com¥ phone: 415-497-9206¥ mailto:email@example.com LETTING GO My newest work began after a period of being away from my art for more than 2 years. I experienced an unexpected hereditary illness and it made it impossible to work. As such, life and its many complications came into close view, for me. A search began for what was wrong with my body, and resulted in a search for so much more. As I struggled to understand what was happening, I began to accept the many arduous and untended-to turns in my life. I began to deconstruct my childhood, my identity, my family, and my goals as an artist. The work from this period in my career is largely about letting go of expectations placed on ourselves by society and by self. I have been working on several series that tie together and address unified topics each in a slightly different manner. Pink, Wrapped, Dresses, and Boob Bowls are all experimentations with the notion of accepting and understanding the self. There can be a great tension between being a mother and artist, a woman and man, and healthy person and one with an illness. This work explores the many facets of this conversation. PINK is a series of sculptures I created, then photographed. This work is intended to explore the tension between being a mother and being a working adult. Profound tension exists between being someone who can do it all and someone who implodes as they try to do too much. It is about the pride of being female and a parent versus the art world’s expectations that women with children can’t be “real” artists. This stigma stings and needs exploration. Women are expected to be beautiful, accommodating, strong, quiet when necessary, not too pushy, not too smart, not too loud, and certainly not in complete charge, but just enough to be sexy. For most of my life I have rejected pink as the color of femininity as I have associated it with my struggle to be put in a female box. With this project, I embrace pink as a proud mother, a proud woman, a proud artist who makes profound and important work. I will not be boxed into one category. I will explode out of this box. Trying to fit into all these boxes society has for us, causes us to break apart, if we listen. I listened for too long. I imploded. I broke apart and had to put myself back together. This work is a sculptural installation as well as a photographic series of the body of work.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.