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The Aprons of MatriArt (2002)

The generation of mothers prior to the cultural revolution of the 1960’s knew aprons as essential daily costume elements. The style of the apron spoke volumes about the mood and style of the lady, and the activities she undertook. A little additional amendment to vintage aprons allowed Jan to make terse statements out of an otherwise benign object.

  • She is Just a Housewife. “My father used to say ‘The hand that rocks the crade rules the world,’ but I don’t think he really believed it.” - Jan

  • Empty Nest. “It used to be that I would have killed for a little peace and quiet, just a little time to myself. Now I wonder, where did everyone go?” - Jan

  • The housebound woman dreams of escaping the tyranny of her family’s demands, and even may go so far as to clip help wanted ads from the classified, but when she reads the business etiquette demands from the 1950’s, she balks at the thought of trading a familiar entrapment for one unknown.

  • Jan turns vintage aprons into marionettes, suggesting the bodies of neighborhood women. During WW II, women kept the country running while their men were away. The war over, fathers came home, and the Baby Boom produced new occupation for the women of sharpened skills and broader experience. How does it feel to be the toddler, garrisoned by a room full of aproned mothers, aunts and grandmothers who have been ushered back into domestic confinement?

  • Detail of “Object of Their Attention”

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