The Lampshade Project
Jenny Ashley's subversive series "The Lampshade Project" highlights damaging expectations on women, even in 2018, to limit their identity and purpose to domesticity. In each image, the women become the ultimate "object" of a man's desire--quiet, docile and useful, their identity nearly indistinguishable from their domestic setting. As a piece of visual rhetoric, Ashley hopes the series makes viewers feel uncomfortable with the absurdity of a woman's "place" being in the home. For each image, Ashley curates an odd assortment of vintage fashion and furnishings, creating a feeling of being stuck in a past era. The series started out of Ashley's own personal experience, as a woman whose words were devalued, dismissed or interrupted on a regular basis in her interpersonal relationships with men--whether that was with male colleagues or in love relationships, even with lifelong friends who considered themselves feminists. In a time of female empowerment, The Lampshade Project is giving artist Jenny Ashley a voice, a way to speak for the many who are still silenced.