Lily Foss Ikat Weaving
Date and Time
Part of the Exhibition
As a female artist, I have been concerned about female labor and its perception inside and outside of the art world. By working with online sex workers to document their livestream performances, I explore issues concerning gender, politics, censorship, female labor and agency. Portraits of these webcam models are integrated within the threads of my work using airbrush, then woven on a loom as a contemporary ikat, bringing a complex and nuanced experience to viewing female labor and sexual expression. Since the mid 20th century, weaving has become prevalent and recognized as a potential medium within fine art but was classically perceived as a practical field dominated by female laborers. The female body has also maintained a complex place within the art world. In the modern context of online sex work the dynamic between viewer and subject has changed, as well as the sex worker’s control over her field and its viewership. I am interested in interacting with and representing these subjects through a similarly female dominated field.
Due to the pandemic, online sex work has increased exponentially. Many of the women I worked with during this project sought out online sex work as an alternative to the exploitation they experienced in traditional employment. Many found confidence, empowerment, and liberation through this new career. Despite this, sex work is still heavily stigmatized, and workers struggle with acceptance as well as censorship. I want to challenge and complicate people’s conception of online sex work and acknowledge it as real and important labor in society.
“Portraits of these webcam models are integrated within the threads of my work using airbrush, then woven on a loom as a contemporary ikat, bringing a complex and nuanced experience to viewing female labor and sexual expression”