Briana Woolliams

He said he knew me from somewhere: a response to gender and experience

Unnamed 6
'He said he knew me from somewhere', linen fabric, coffee, tea, berries, ink, each piece 800mm x 2000mm

Encounters with a predatory male stranger provided the impetus for this work. Memory, my own verbatim accounts, telling and retelling the story have all crystallised the experience in a number of ways. Poetry has been a significant tool in translating those encounters.

Unnamed 5
‘soft’, three printed publications of poetry, ink jet print on watercolour paper, white thread, rice paper, 147mm x 210mm

Incorporating poetry and installation meant I could create a physical and immersive experience for spectators. Installation was a way of constructing an idiom in which not only invasive but predatory behaviour is revealed by being contextualised and set against a deeply personal response to the on-going experience of an enabling culture of violence against women. The architecture of the site was important in how I presented the fragments of my own poetry and how light, scale and colour may influence the spectator's experience. In stitching, naturally dying and screen printing the textiles all by hand I want to exercise agency and determine the parameters for myself. These works do not need to shout. 

I would define the field I am working in as outdated ideologies of biological sex differences that constitute gender. This project is about exploring the potential to renegotiate a feminine persona that defies easy categorization or conformity.

Briana Wooliams
Fabric installation
43 A9153 Briana Wooliams Web
Fabric installation
Untitled 1
Left image: 'soft' publication. Right image: fabric installation
Unnamed 7
'Every Inch' poem within publication

Related Artists