Identity and Self-Image: Art by Michele Ridgeway
Michele Ridgeway is an artist currently based in Hancock, Massachusetts. Michele’s works often explore identity and self-image as fragile, tactile masks.
I love Michele’s frequent use of ethereal media like gingerbread in her projects. Her video work Good Enough Fences, shows the artist slowly building a wall of gingerbread bricks and icing, while a voiceover offers a poetic description of a wall that might be real or allegorical. As a video project, the work has a prolonged existence, though this existence is in contrast with the materials used within – food products that degrade relatively quickly. The saying “good fences make good neighbours” is reiterated by the narrator, prompting the audience to look critically at the act of constructing such an impermanent wall.
Michele’s works also frequently incorporate embroidery and textile media. These works, seem to sit in parallel with the works using icing or gingerbread as demonstrations of traditionally “feminine” practices, to question such assumption of identity.