Keeping the Balance
Despite considerable emancipation and wider equality, the traditional cliché rolls of wife and mother have not yet been overcome. Kendall observes the multiple challenges women face in society. Just the balancing act between family and career, daily life and success, frequently cause women to be overworked. Women often put excessive demands on themselves to meet the challenges they face: to reach the perfectionism and to be the perfect role model which the media and advertising present to us.
Yvonne Kendall creates her objects mostly from found objects and textiles. These materials, threads, and everyday objects have a history: a previous life. As clothes, curtains and tablecloths they had a function and are bound together with the clichés of their time.
„Dress Me Up”. The passive attitude is clear in the title, how women willingly take on roles and fulfil expectations through clothes. Women, especially, are presented in the media as immaculately dressed, chic, sexy so as to define them as belonging to set groups.
The titles of these textile wall-hangings are reminiscent of the set female aspirations of the 1950s, „children, cooking and church”, which bound female roles and conservative values up till the 1970s. How complex society’s expectations of women are today can be clearly seen when we consider that „children, cooking and church“ has been revised into „children, cooking and career.“
Keeping the balance leads her into deeper realms.
„Measuring Human Geometries“, deals with questions of natural science and mathematics. Three works depicting hands and forearms made from curtain material, lie detached, on wooden beams and present the observer with golden geometric objects. They have the dimensions of a cubit – one of the oldest natural measurements of history, and stand for one of the fundamental needs of humanity, to measure the world and understand it rationally.
Mysterious forms, complex polyhedrons such as dodecahedrons, star shaped objects with complex forms, which on the first view seem quite difficult to decipher. These precious objects are presented almost with a sense of reverence.
Another complex mathematical principle is considered in the work „The Fibonacci Selection“, from 2015. The Fibonacci sequence is a row of natural numbers, named after the 12th century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. The succession of numbers work in accord with each other and characterise a certain harmony of ratio similar to the golden ratio.
Kendall’s work suggests that art and life follow similar laws. Natural development and harmony arise from set principles, the order of which humanity still hopes to uncover.
Regina M. Fischer 2018
Fotos: Soenne, Aachen