Let’s Play Dress Up

Emily Stewart

Push your fingers all the way into the luxury of opera gloves, with the glamour of fur, an expensive statement but which further heralds the notion of the living animal, a corpse at your fingertips.  

Simultaneously, the red rubber latex gives the pleasure yet repulse of skin on skin contact; raw, rough and the colour of blood whilst not dissimilar from the very washing up gloves draped and dripping over your kitchen sink.  

Allow your thoughts to be guided by introspection and reflection as you become engulfed in the self, your vision distorted and removed by the balaclava headwear. The bubble-gum pink swirls become reminiscent of the bodily and the internal whilst the sickly tone further denotes a playfulness of childhood. The silliness of playing dress-up and the uninhibited freedom of thoughts as speech bubbling out from the unzipped mouth.  

Inside, you become an object of decoration, adorned with pearlescent beads. The balaclava adopts kitsch domesticity of that which lines the shelves of charity shops, your grandma’s bric-a-brac.  

Despite the disassociation with reality, there is awareness with a sense of touch as your gloved arms gather and caress the bodily swellings hanging and swinging from the romantic chiffon dress falling over you. Udders and phallic protrusions are an extension of your form, all of which have their anatomy and sexual connotation clouded by the materiality of the bulges; fuzzy pink teddy bear fur and translucent neon plastic sitting in the realm of confusion in the marriage of the juxtaposition between the wearable and the unwearable.  

An encapsulation of the uncanny, you act as a vehicle between the latent and the manifest; the strange garments instilling childhood and domestic, homely memories as well as an awareness of the human body and fetishist ideas of sexuality, as you enter a curious blend of whimsy and play. 

Words: Emilly Stewart, Fine Art, @emilymayart

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