Artistic statement

After watching shows like the Last Leg on Channel 4 turn Vladamir Putin into a gay icon using various methods, I am interested in turning a Russian icon into a gay icon, without losing the identifiable features of the thing itself. Additionally due to a family member being a Last Leg Presenter (Alex Brooker) the issue has really interested me and even sparked debate with those around me, particularly after the trio were warned by British Security Officers to calm their antics down. I chose to adapt Russian dolls (otherwise known as Matryoshka dolls) as they are such a hugely recognisable symbol.
            When taking an icon and changing it, its important to keep in mind that the most important elements are those which are the most recognised, for these dolls, it is their shape and the fact that you are able to pull them apart to find another one inside. I’ve decided these dolls will be giant, between 10-11 feet at their largest and and about 6 feet wide, the size of these pieces is one of the most important aspects because it needs to really grab peoples attention. My own interests in doing things which can be perceived as controversial and gaining notice for issues is the real driving force behind the vast size of these pieces, the issue they represent is something I feel shouldnt be overlooked, just as they can’t be.
            The development of the dolls themselves is one of the most challenging parts, they need to be bold, interesting and obvious as to what they are, whilst also representing the gay community in a respectful way even if it is targeting stereotypes. In order to do this, I have been looking at the clothing worn by individuals during the annual gay pride parades because this is where and why the pieces are going to be exhibited. Gay pride parades are well known for wearing and doing things that every day would be frowned upon, but they are done to show gay peoples freedom within the community. Taking outfit ideas from what has already been worn at these events is beneficial because this is how gay individuals have already chosen to represent themselves and therefore it is acceptable to represent their support to others in the same way. This also means it is important to represent as many different types of people taking part in gay pride parades as possible, and this is why I intend to create between 6-8 differently dressed/gender dolls because the kind of diversity in the parade wouldn’t be shown by only creating four. Another aspect is the removal of each of the dolls from one another in a ceremony, this is going to symbolise that there is more to homosexuals and transgenders than just their sexuality because people often forget that, hopefully this piece will begin to trigger more empathy within people who would otherwise have been against the current changes in our own laws to give homosexuals more rights.

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