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Janice Wright Cheney: Disorderly Creatures
2 Jan 2002 – 3 Mar 2002
Janice Wright Cheney. Entomic Diary (detail) 1999. Wooden drawers, cotton embroidery, component of Entomic Embroideries 1999, beeswax, found materials, presented on antique harvest table, table dimensions: 73.5 x 122 x 74 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Fredericton artist Janice Wright Cheney embroiders life-like insects on handkerchiefs, books and clothing. Her choice of needlework as a means of representation fuses an historically feminized practice with an abject category of subject matter — the crawling things that feed on museum artefacts, household goods and human flesh.
The method of presentation alternates "the cultural" with "the natural." Thus natural history display, which highlights the orderly classification of specimens, confronts the phenomenon of infestation in works such as Bodice of Fleas. In the exquisitely illustrated catalogue, Lianne McTavish (Art History, University of New Brunswick) uncovers the feminist subtext of Wright Cheneys project.
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