by Kim Truesdale
Observing how the conservative Southern women in my family adhere to traditional gender roles prompted my investigation in the loss of women’s identities and individuality. After a loved one, who was a homemaker, was subjected to a tragic and mysterious case of neglect leaving her in a diabetic coma for several days, I looked for physical, societal, and psychological evidence. Thus, the portraits that emerged in my multimedia Fed Up series are from family scrapbooks, found photographs, and a series of 1950s and 1960s Future Homemakers of America scrapbooks. The sensory organs of the “future homemakers” are suppressed as a means of expressing subjugation and sensory deprivation. The act of discovering photographic portraits of women is important to my process as it is a way of preserving those who, like my family member, came to be overlooked and discarded.
Food functions in many complex ways in the lives of women. Untold stories and sugar-coated secrets consume women from the inside out. Over-eating can be a way to fill an emotional void, creating a false feeling of fullness or temporary wholeness or in a positive way, food can represent nurturance and love towards others. The miniature trompe l’oeil food sculptures in my work are based on memories from my mother and grandmother’s kitchen and nostalgic American cuisine. Masking exterior and interior parts of the women these sculptures not only symbolize the familiar and staying in your comfort zone but also a societal or personal barrier that I hope these women choose to reject.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kim Truesdale was born in 1984 in Camden, South Carolina. She currently resides in Athens, Georgia where she received a Master of Fine Arts at the Lamar Dodd School of Art in 2020. She graduated from Coker University with a BA in Fine Arts in 2008 and the University of South Carolina with a MAT in Art Education in 2013. Recent exhibitions include the Pee Dee Regional Art Competition at the Florence Museum of Art in Florence, SC and the 44th Juried Exhibition at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA. Her recent awards include 2nd place in the South Carolina Festival of Flowers, Greenwood, SC and a Merit Award in Artfields, Lake City, SC.