Straightjacketed Women: Gold Masked, Bird Ladies & Under Cover
This quiet grouping of Gold Masked Women consists of a trio wearing face masks of molten gold that obscure or delete thought, speech and vision. Waist-up they are straightjacketed. Only the faint outline of arms tucked under layers of unforgiving material are visible. Both the straightjackets and the multi- layered, floor length skirts underneath are ghostly white.
Bird Ladies comprises the second group of confined figures. They are engaged in doing inventive things with the caged canaries left in their care. One patient consumes hers, the other presses hers on her forehead like a wet washcloth while the third wrings its neck and fashions it into crown. Also skirted, these sculptures lack color and maintain the coolness of white marble. Only the birds are coated in a high gloss sheen.
These three Under Cover sculptures – made from porcelain dipped bed sheets - give the illusion the asylum patients are drowning in their bed sheets or hopelessly entangled. The asylum bed served both as refuge and torture. Sheets were also the first things patients grabbed to create makeshift escape ropes.