Spanish fashion student Pilar Fernández doesn't obey by the conventional rules of a clothes maker. Criticism aside, she's hoping to change our ideas of the female gaze, one vagina sculpture at a time. We caught up with the 24-year-old to discuss feminism, vaginas and being a woman in 2016.
What is the motivation behind your work? My motivation is to discover new creative techniques and convey a message associated with the female gender, I’m tired of women being second place, our work doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. I’d like to eliminate stereotypes and taboos, society shouldn’t see us a body. The fashion industry exploits our bodies, creating an unrealistic idealisation of the female gaze.
Is there a particular message you’re trying to communicate? My aim is to promote equality between the sexes. Historically, the working woman has always occupied a lower role, its time for us to tear up the rule book. We need to break down the ridiculous stereotypes that surround genres.
Could you tell us about your embroidery project?
This project is called RESILIENCIA meaning the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The work is a tribute to feminist artists of the 1970s such as Hannah Wilke, Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. RESILIENCIA is inspired by the empowered woman. I embellish fabrics with beads and threads, referencing a role that's often seen as a 'woman's job'.
"The fashion industry exploits our body, creating an unrealistic idealisation of the female gaze."
How do people react to your artwork? I do receive some criticism, some people think they're sweet. I'm often asked if it has something to do with my sexuality.
What is your idea of feminism? Total equality between genders and moving away from that males can't be feminine.
What is the best thing about being a woman in 2016? For me, the best thing about being a woman in 2016 is that I can freely express myself. There are platforms such as BRICKS Magazine that help us spread our message. The best about being a woman, is being a woman, and express it however we like.
Do you have any future projects or exhibitions planned? Right now I am finishing my latest academic project, UTERO a tribute to the different stages we face as a woman throughout our lives. It’s a collection exploring our everyday struggles from birth to death. Composed by 3 looks, 10 illustrations, 3 art textile sculptures and a fashion film.