Michael Reid

above: [CROP] Animal Queendom #1 Giraffe, 2018

Leah Emery: Animal Queendom
1 November – 1 December 

Leah Emery embroiders vintage titillating scenes, quite literally interweaving and disrupting cliché stereotypes of gender and desire. In her latest series, Animal Queendom, Emery brings animals into the frame. These disinterested bystanders create a divide from the explicit content and offer a space for normalising discussions around intimacy.

As the title of the series beacons, Emery addresses our tendency to employ male pronouns and gives voice to the female species. In Animal Queendom #3 and #4 a peahen and bird of paradise are seen on top of climaxing women. Often overshadowed by their extravagant and loud male counterparts Emery demands their attention as much as the climatic moment.

Working with vintage pornography Emery encourages awareness to body image: “I embrace and celebrate flaws and authenticity and enjoy being an advocate for aesthetic diversity. It’s only a small contribution, and we all need to find a way to kick back/protest/rebel against the heavy media scrutiny of female appearance.”

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“Imagine this: Your work inbox becomes spammed non-stop with exotic images. What do you do? Report? Block? Change your email?

For Brisbane artist, Leah Emery, who was at the time, working as a 3D modeller in the male-dominated industry of video gaming, she decided to do one better: save the attachments into a secret drive and turn the imagery meant to offend her, into works of softly pixelated feminist fine art.

For over 10 years now, Emery has smartly used the traditional medium of cross stitch, with all its feminine, homemaker and old-fashioned connotations to cheekily subvert the male gaze, transforming the harshness of adult imagery into fantastic, tender works of power.” READ MORE.

Noelle Faulkner for Whimn


Michael Reid

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