Pretty Space

An Exhibition by Bea Drysdale
On view from August 1 - August 28, 2016

Please join us for an exhibition reception on
Friday, August 5th from 6 - 8 PM at the cafe!

Artist’s Statement:

Pretty: cunning, roguish, clever, (of a soldier) gallant. Stout.* 

“In their double-edged dimensions… words wield/yield messages about the tragedy of women and all Wild be-ing confined within imprisoning patriarchal parameters… Breaking the bonds/bars of phallocracy requires breaking through to radiant powers of words, so that by releasing words, we can release our Selves.”**

Using “pretty” in the title for this work is a provocation and a reclamation of the word as positive. This feminist impulse mirrors the origins of my work, which was a reaction to the industrial materials and dominance of famous male minimalist sculptors of the sixties and seventies. Working intuitively, I rethink and reconfigure clothing and sheet metal design patterns. I gently coax the tissue paper patterns into shape, aided minimally by stitching and gluing. Tissue paper is pretty, and it’s also strong, and emotive, and has presence; if it can do this, then maybe pretty is different than what I thought it was. 

*Just some of the original and archaic meanings of “pretty,” according to the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, and Mirriam-Webster online. 

**Mary Daly, Pure Lust, Elemental Feminist Philosophy Beacon Press, Boston, MA, p.4

About the Artist:

Bea Drysdale received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2004 and was a 2005 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant. Her primary materials are paper and fabric. The architecture of the spaces where her work is installed and the action of gravity are often key factors in the outcome, pushing the pieces further each time.

Drysdale is focusing again on her sculptural practice after retraining as a biomedical equipment technician. She is grateful for the support of the Iowa City artists community centered on alternative arts venue Public Space One, where her practice has expanded into artists books and performing with the Thuggoons Will Be Banned marching band. She lives in Iowa City and works for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at