Teresa Davis Art - For Scholarship
As an art instructor I am continually inspired by the vivid imaginations of my young students. Their freedom, creativity and humor is what I strive to capture in my own work.
My show, "She's in Over Her Head," is a playful homage to the emotional state of women in contemporary American society. Humor is an effective coping device for stress, and with that in mind, I'm bringing some levity to a timely subject. Each painting isn the series depicts a woman supporting an animal or an unusual object on her head.
Women have a long history of carrying things on their heads. During the Victorian era, finishing schools instructed young women to improve their posture by balancing a book or a teacup and saucer on their heads while walking.
In ancient times, women frequently carried heavy burdens on top of their heads. Sometimes the weight was equal to that of their own bodies. This is still a commonplace practice in many parts of the world today. Interestingly, carrying loads on one's head is a gendered activity: it was (and is) much more common for women than men.
Today in America, women are generally free of the expectations of these physical burdens, but instead, we often carry heavy internalized mental and emotional loads. The phrase, "in over your head" is used when someone has more difficulties or problems than they can manage. Each of us are trying heroically to balance our own weights. Perhaps if these burdens were somehow mad visible we might be able to put them into perspective while also developing a better understanding of one another and our shared human experience.