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Femininity Evolving (2021&2023) 

Why Bed Jackets ?

Many of the artist's memories are made up of feminine objects and clothing, like bed jackets and compacts; set aside from her grandmother. Rust is compelled to use these materials in my work, as they are evocative reminders of family and life lessons. One of her most favored garments as a child was a blush colored bed jacket. Simultaneously, it instilled a sense of maturity, elegance, security with a bit of riskiness. These sophisticated souvenirs, of a time of luxurious glamour, provide a backdrop of low-relief grounds for paint application. The sections in the installation metaphorically act as stage-sets made from garments and shelves. Each shelf is a theatrical platform and each garment stage-curtains ready to depict the human condition. Yet only a glowing light is there because we (as women) are still in a state of transition towards becoming. Once again the vanity is narrative inspiration and becomes part of the stage-sets as mini dressing tables on the shelves. They are embellished with lace and variations of a woman’s face etched into the looking glasses. Aiming to be commemorative, this installation composition speaks to the evolution of femininity and the way we tear ourselves to live within what is socially accepted as feminine. As the order of the bed jackets, displayed 1-3, suggests an evolution from a restrained state to a liberated state, the expressions of the faces in the mirrors echo this progress.

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