Elizabeth Gabriel
Undergraduate, Painting and Drawing

Ilomantis Ginsburgae
Mixed Media

A motif that has commonly appeared in my works is the discussion of identity and its unrelenting messiness. The continual flux of this word, and its definition-for me- is what most intrigues me, and inspires the art that I produce. I enjoy how seemingly concrete, yet elusive it is. In my piece Ilomantis Ginsburgae, I choose to discuss my womanness.
Power, and its imbalances are examined in this project. This idea manifests itself initially in placing an insect in a shrine meant for a human god, giving the insect a power over humanity. Similarly, the narrative behind the piece discusses this institutional glorification of maleness, and the dispossession of womanness: the patriarchal imbalances of power. 
Ilomantis Ginsburgae is a newly identified species of praying mantis, and is the first praying mantis species to be characterized by its female genitalia. Named after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this praying mantis symbolizes the attempt to dismantle sexist institutional ideologies of womanness. In Ilomantis Ginsburgae, I fashion this praying mantis as deity, and place the insect in human-like shrines. The piece comprises three individual objects, as a memorial to Ilomantis Ginsburgae: a painting on canvas, and two papier mache, box shrines.

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