Mercedes Ferrari Attempts To Deconstruct The Social Stereotyping of Women
Mercedes Ferrari's work is composed of sculpture, drawing, video and performance. Packed with humour and energy, Her work explores human behaviour and relationships within the domestic space. Using readymade materials and traditional objects, she assembles them together creating unique installations with a universal meaning.
Ferrari's object based creatures often depict the female body. With this, Mercedes attempts to deconstruct the social stereotyping of women, such as the objectification of women as domestic fixtures and mothers. Her work is full of different patterns and colours and she not only challenges her own sculptural language but also tests our sense of humour touching, on the tragicomedy of daily life.
Works such as 'La Mujerzuela (The Floozy)', 'The Female Peg' and 'Memories as an Object' stand out because of the simplicity in their making. whilst nonetheless, they have incredibly significant messages rooted in their intent.
Mercedes Ferrari's work, some of which is inspired by the theories and aesthetics of the carnival and the grotesque, by Mikhail Bakhti, manifests by means of social communication in art. Using the philosophical ideas of human existence, behind the Theatre of the Absurd and the improvisation and experimentation, in the Comedia dell'Arte, Ferrari constructs a playful and imaginative world of her own.
Recently, 'La Mujerzuela' was selected for a new show at the Crypt gallery. Its satirical nature makes fun of women and subsequently it allows you to laugh at yourself. Much more seriously, 'La Mujerzuela' underlines feminist issues, which often see women objectified as a commodity, without taking into consideration personality or dignity.
Mercedes Ferrari was born in Spain in 1979. She graduated from the Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton with a BA (Hons) in Sculpture (2013) before progressing onto the MA Fine Art course at the same university, where she is currently studying. Her MA studies, funded by an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) scholarship, has greatly enabled her to continue developing her art practice. She has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows including; Solo exhibition, Work Programme 22, Community Arts Centre, Brighton (2013), Light Thickens, Vyner Street Gallery, London (2011), Bi-annual Birth Rites Collection competition-shorlisted artworks, MediaCityUK, Manchester (2013), Selected Works Reel Show, Saatchi Gallery, London (2013), Winter Pride Art Awards 2014 shortlisted artworks, CHART Gallery, London (2014), Winter Pride Art Awards 2014, Tobacco Docks, London (2014), Office Sessions, 4th Floor, Anchorage House, London (2014), MA & Other Postgraduates 2014, Atkinson Gallery, Street, Somerset (2014) and Vanity Unfair, Desperate Artwives, The Crypt Gallery, London (2014). She was awarded with the Santander Community Engagement and Volunteering Award, University of Brighton (2013) for her project, the Artist Parents Group, and shortlisted for various competitions including; Bi-annual Birth Rites Collection competition, University of Brighton Alumnus Award (2014), British Women Artists Award (2013), People's Choice Award, The Signature Art Prize 2013/2014 and was a runner up for Winter Pride Art Award (2014).
Words: Amy Dignam © Artlyst 2014 Photo: supplied by the artist all rights reserved