n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - A voice of her own : speaking her narrative through -practices

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



Jacques Derrida's (2009 [1978]:301-315) metaphor of "" forms a in the final narrative series of the exhibition (2007-2008), titled (2006-2007). The metaphor of "" itself is doubly-bound: although -practices may be aligned with actions that connote mastery such as "penetrating", "piercing", "pricking", "puncturing" or "rupturing" a surface, their consequences also "point to" restitution: a conjoining of otherwise discreet elements through stitching, lace-making, binding, braiding and weaving type practices historically associated with femininity and domesticity.

In , conceptions of what I propose to be three -type practices - the Victorian construct of needlework, the historically gendered nineteenth-century psychosomatic disorder of hysteria and the contemporary practice of self-mutilation through cutting - as signifiers of passive, self-negating "femininity" are subverted through redefinition as forms of agency. With reference to the ways in which these -practices are played out in , and by aligning these practices with Julia Kristeva's (1995) concept of 'transgressive writing', I suggest that they can be read as empowering forms of preverbal, bodily-driven self-expression; a means of "giving voice" to unspoken traumas and speaking in the face of being silenced by nineteenth-century gendered discourses.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error