Letitia Hill The Female Gaze Series 2018

I am an American artist. An early colonial transplant from Scotland on the matriarch side and forth generation Irish on the patriarch side. Born in Bangor, Maine and raised all over the United States. My dad flew F-4 Phantoms for the United States Air Force and my mom was an executive chef, educator, and dietitian. In today's polarized society, defining ones identity seem significantly prevalent. In what seems a straight forward picture of an All-American immigrant military family, defining and creating an artistic voice surrounding my culture has been fraught with challenges and frustrations. With this series, I feel the rubber has hit the road, where my artist skills, experience, and craftsmanship has finally synergized, giving me an opportunity to articulate my authentic voice on canvas.

"Painters must speak through paint, not through words." Hans Hofmann

The Female Gaze Series, is my current body of work, deconstructing traditional themes of the female gaze theory. This series captures five large scale (60 x 60 x 2 in.), self portraits on canvas, amalgamating figurative realism in multiple disciplined processes of photography, digital manipulation, acrylic, acrylic skins, and oil painting. This is an exploration of how the unspoken female gaze is misrepresented through history and mythology.

"It has taken me, what seems a lifetime to find my artistic voice. But looking back to the beginning, I have always been a creative and strove to develop my own articulate artistic language." Letitia Hill

The celebration of developing an experimental practice with complex processes are what dominate my art's methodology. The challenge is not settling for traditional methods and technology to determine and limit the outcomes but push technologies and methodologies forward to reach the best outcome of expressionism of my vision in pioneering and creative ways. My job is to be fearless and "boldly go where no-one has gone before." My art practice is where science, technology, and creativity connects.

"The depth and breadth of this Female Gaze Series encompasses the reconstruction of my epic journey of female empowerment and the defiance of not being objectified or dismissed." Letitia Hill

Historically the female gaze theory has been applied to film. Based initially on feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey's term, "the male gaze." However, in contemporary usage there are broader uses of the term, one that is applied to a wider form of creative expression. For centuries, "the male gaze" has dominated popular culture. This is propaganda that has perpetuated the patriarchal dominance representational in every aspect of our lives, culture, and society. Jill Soloway has become the most recent advocate. In a recent keynote address Soloway championed the cause, challenging the creative industry to "make space for women to take the lead in shaping female protagonism." Further arguing that "art is self propaganda... protagonism is propaganda." This series is my contribution in the investigation of bringing the critical feminist concept of "the female gaze" to the forefront of film, art, and culture.

"When women direct films, take photographs, make sculpture, and even write books or articles, they’re often said to be harnessing "the female gaze.” Alina Cohen

P.O. Box 7186, Albuquerque, NM, 87194 / info@letitiahill.com / 505-270-6759

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Letitia Hill



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