'For the Love of God', 'Daddy's Girl' and 'Daddy's Little Princess'

Abstract

For the Love of God (2009) is a diptych of knitted outfits for babies; they were knitted with stinging nettle yarn from original 1940s patterns. The yarn is coarse, and thus slow, painful and laborious to work with. The garments were knitted with resentment for traditional expectations placed upon women. The act left rope burn on the artist's fingers therefore introducing notions of female self-sacrifice, and also harm to children. Historically, stinging nettles were used as a method of self-flagellation by certain religious orders, as well as a material to make Nazi Officer's uniforms. The addition of bone buttons and needles used to the final works, further removes any typical sweet sentimentality associated with baby clothes. Instead, the details add notions of pain, and the ends rather than the beginnings of life.

Daddy's Girl and Daddy's Little Princess (2012) are two separate pieces that on first glance appear to be padded headboards. Each piece is made up of 25 original vintage sewing patterns that have been moulded into shape when wet. The paper casts are hollow, making the work more fragile than it seems, as well as completely impossible to use. The pieces were painstakingly made and close scrutiny reveals that the pattern illustrations have been subtly altered and subverted by the artist. Shockingly, the little girls fight, drink and smoke, and it is through these hurtful and violent additions, along with the works' ambiguous titles that suggest abuse of many kinds. The uselessness of the piece also points to the heavy frustrations and disappointment experienced by the 'not good enough' mother.

How to Cite

Chambers, P., (2013) “'For the Love of God', 'Daddy's Girl' and 'Daddy's Little Princess'”, Studies in the Maternal 5(2), p.1. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/sim.185

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For the Love of God

Paula Chambers, For the Love of God

Paula Chambers, For the Love of God

Paula Chambers, For the Love of God

Paula Chambers, For the Love of God

Daddy's Girl

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Girl

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Girl

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Girl, detail

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Girl, detail

Daddy's Little Princess

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Little Princess

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Little Princess

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Little Princess, detail

Paula Chambers, Daddy's Little Princess, detail

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Paula Chambers

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