Caitlin Gill: Adaptations
Gill explores the notion of femininity, its relationship to nature, western culture, and women. Human nature is nothing short of unnatural, and the concept of the feminine is even less so. Women are continuously linked to nature historically and culturally yet are refused the most natural basic animal instincts and acts (territory, aggression, fitness) as these are characterized as unfeminine, or inherently masculine. This contradiction plagues the artist and her work explores these binaries attempting to reconcile how to be simultaneously feminine and natural.

In many ways, Gill’s work examines what femininity feels like. This notion of the feminine has always haunted her, similarly to how nature can be transfixing, whimsical, unattainable, and beautiful; it can also be cruel, chaotic, strange, and revolting. The concept of femininity confines women to the magic and beauty of nature and fully disregards nature’s duality, therefore denying this binary to women. The idea of femininity is alienating and reductive; it encapsulated a gender and reduced it to a handful of characteristics that further removes women from nature. Using traditional craft materials and skills such as sewing, felting, crocheting, ceramics, scrapbook paper, doilies, stencils, and stamps, juxtaposed with foreground imagery of larvae, dead or decomposing animals, and other uncomfortable imagery, Gill attempts to reconcile the feminine exterior and the female interior. Just as nature can be simultaneously beautiful and grotesque so can women.

Artist Biography

Caitlin Gill is a mixed media artist living in Westminster, Maryland. She has a B.A in Drawing and Painting from Towson University and an MFA in Curatorial Practice and Art Criticism from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She currently works as the Exhibition Manager and Artist Directory Coordinator for Maryland Art Place (MAP) in Baltimore. Gill uses printmaking, sculpting, drawing, painting, collage and fiber to create artwork which explores ideas of identity, femininity and the divergence between human and animal. Evoking ideas of discomfort and repulsion she encourages viewers to engage with how unnatural being human can sometimes feel.

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