Feminine Form

Art considers what it is to be a woman

Posted: March 17, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Courtesy Image “Wombness” is a video art installation by Sara Segerlin and is part of the “Womanhood in Art” exhibition. Seven featured artists explore representations of women through form, light, couture, nature and power for Women’s History Month.

Artist Sara Segerlin's work is a constant juxtaposition of internal and external: The physical domain versus a dreamscape; the confines of an urban environment opposing the boundlessness of the natural world. She considers where the edges of these dimensions collide and explores how the concrete and the cerebral affect her as an artist and as a woman.

"The things that you encounter in your life end up in your work," Segerlin says of her inspirations. For example, her past in journalism and film-making influenced her attraction to moving pictures in her work. "I really like sculptural forms, and I like video because it's a moving image -- it's 24 frames per second. It's like our eyes; moving images are like an extension of your body."


‘Womanhood in Art

Power // Light // Nature’

WHEN — On display through March

WHERE — Fayetteville Underground Art Gallery, downtown square

COST — Free

INFO — 439-8641 or fayettevilleunderground.org

BONUS — 2-5 p.m. Sunday will feature this month’s Sunday Salon artist talk at the gallery with featured artists from the “Womanhood in Art” exhibition.

And just as her relationship with film was shaped by her transition from television news to artistic film-making in graduate school, Segerlin's connection with nature heightened with her time in New Zealand, where she studied with native Maori artists.

"The different geographic ranges -- from glaciers to beach to mountains to thick forests -- that relationship to nature is just enhanced [in New Zealand] and a very strong topic in the artists' work, so I became very aware of that," she says.

Now Segerlin's artistic journey has impassioned her to consider how her experiences and the influences around her both impact, and are internalized, by her perspective as a woman. These musings are contemplated in her work, "Wombness," part of the exhibition on display at the Fayetteville Underground for Women's History Month: "Womanhood in Art: Power // Light // Nature."

"'The woman' represents reproduction, birth, nurturing, taking care of children, taking care of the home -- these are concepts that have been with us since the start of humanity," Segerlin says. "I really take that to heart because I think that's something that is forgotten with our 21st century way of life and the way we need to behave in a masculine society. The way I interpret being a woman, I see, visually, things that represent or are metaphors for who I am as a woman."

This concept is reflected, literally, in "Wombness," where the viewer encounters a figure formed of broken glass mirroring a video projection of images of the ocean, the earth. The metaphors comparing women and Mother Earth -- both holding people, shaping, affecting life -- become all the more interesting in being surrounded by mundane kitchen and household items -- the "minutia" of a woman's daily life, Segerlin offers.

"Besides being a mother and taking care of the land, we also take care of the house, we cook, we work -- we have to do everything! So it's this minutia that's up above or around us, but all of it is a part of us. And the installation is sort of a submersive room that represents that."

-- Jocelyn Murphy


NAN What's Up on 03/17/2017