Starting from the observations of writers that women’s roles have been in some ways rolled back to the expectations of an earlier era due to the effects of pandemic lockdowns and school closures, the Kitchen Feminism project asked a diverse group of women to reflect on the ways they perceived their own lives to have been sent back in time by the pandemic:
Below are sketches of some of my ideas for this collaborative project which brings the individual stories of women’s experiences of Covid-19 to life in a series of photographs and short videos produced by Dawn van de Schoot. My drawings reference Jane Austen, Peg Bundy, and a painting by Marie-Denise Villers, Portrait of Charlotte du Val d’ogees, c. 1801, which depicts the subject drawing beside a window with a broken glass.
As someone who has long occupied a home studio, I suddenly found myself with a house full of people all trying to work from home at the same time. It felt like I was living through the clash of two eras: heretofore I’d had to consciously contradict the contemporary suspicion that the stay at home worker is a Peg Bundy ala 1990’s sitcom Married With Children. However now I was faced with the bizarre condition of having a sudden spike of interest in my work, with all the demands that come with that, while also having to keep up an appearance of not working, ala Regency era writer Jane Austen, for the sake of my co-habitants working in a variety of remote/zoom configurations in the same space. Looking back, it’s a little comical.
I am excited to share how @dawn_vandeschoot, photographer Shannon Smith and stylists @nicoledoesmakeup and the rest of the team @kitchenfeminism translated my experience into their medium. The project images for Kitchen Feminism: Moving Pictures are now live on their website at Kitchen Feminism! I’ll also be sharing some of the images from the project on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.