Olivia Brine

Bachelor of Contemporary Art

Olivia Brine’s practice explores perspectives of gender and identity, while surveying the paradigm of the ideal feminine beauty in Western society. Within her current practice, she examines the origin of Western feminine beauty standards through art history and symbolistic representation.

The installation presents a voluminous bed adorned with delicate flowers and pearls, enclosed by luminous fabrics in a domestic scene. The bed showcases a papaya, representative of the vagina; fresh, healthy and fertile. The additional pearls permeating the inside of the papaya signify the aptitude of the female anatomy. The symbolic fruit serves as a meditation on the objectification and sexualisation of the female body and patriarchal gender roles of Western culture. This dialogue was influenced by the feminist art of the 1960s and 1970s. Artists sought to challenge the patriarchal conceptions of feminine beauty, in emancipation from the prepotent classical ideals. Olivia’s installation is similarly empowered through the reclamation of the classical gendered stereotypes.

The domestic, hyper-feminine contextual indicators influence the viewer to comprehend the symbolisation, in which the papaya assumes the ideal female nude. Through voyeuristic fantasy the viewer is enticed by the private, sensual display, suggesting complicity for surreptitious viewing.
The interpretation reflects Olivia’s experiences with gender and identity, in correlation to gender roles and their evolution in society.

The Nude
Satin, tulle, cotton, artificial flowers, pearls, papaya, single bed, bedside tables with lamps