COMMUNITY VOICE:<br/>Parenthood


Sculpture Blurs the Line Between the Feminine and Masculine

The materials mahogany and bronze are hard, dark and traditionally associated with men and masculinity. By sculpting the feminine experience out of these materials, Humaira Abid blurs the line between genders and the roles stereotypically allotted to them. In these works, Abid reintroduces the masculine into her sculptures in the forms of male shoes, shirts and razors, but by juxtaposing these objects next to pacifiers, bottles and blouses, she explores the roles men play in parenting as they increasingly assume more "maternal" roles in childcare. As men share in the parenting process more equally, women are free to assume different roles in the workplace and beyond.

carved women's and men's shirtsCOMPANIONS

21 x 17 x 2 inches. Carved mahogany wood.

The male and female shirts beside one another are of equal size, color and importance--they are companions. Companionship means equal participation in all responsibilities; it is what requires men to take a more active role in the house, and what frees women to take a more active role outside of the house.

carved shoes, pillow and baby bottle


35 x 35 x 20 inches. Carved mahogany wood.

Every mother has had to get up in the middle of the night to feed her baby. The presence of male shoes can be interpreted according to each viewer's experience; some see the shoes as evidence of the father's participation in this nightly ritual, others see it as evidence of his absence, as the shoes are empty. Waking in the middle of the night is often seen as a mother's duty regardless of whether or not she has a job outside the home, but many men have yet to share this duty.

faucet dripping into bowl with toy bear


40 x 20 x 19.5 inches. Carved mahogany wood.

Although many men are increasingly assuming more active roles in parenting, this does not mean it is the case everywhere. Mothers still perform most of the chores of parenting, leaving them less time for other things.

carved sidetable with hand in drawer


29 x 21 x 20 inches. Carved mahogany wood and bronze.

This symbolizes the more painful experiences of pregnancy, fertility, and the hope of becoming a parent. These are things that usually only a woman experiences and needs to somehow cope with while still trying to go on with life at home and at work. However, the presence of a razor blade can be seen as masculine or feminine, and it is up to the viewer to interpret what role men play in the loss of a child.

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