Art & Philosophy

Danielle Naylor

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What can be perceived as the height of enhanced femininity, as the pinnacle of female form is burlesque. The act of removing one’s clothes suggestively but somehow remaining covered. In my practice I am interested in this perfected illusion of femininity and the stark realities womanhood truly presents. Through exploring the growth of my own body hair in a society that deems it offensive and repulsive, I am pushing the boundaries of cultivated femininity. My aim is to combine the fantasy with the reality. The artificial versus natural which comes in to play with my alter ego Freeda La Bush. Natural body hair is present which disturbs the fantasy of an almost statuesque female form. Breathing life into a body that, if seen as a fantasy, could have been readily objectified. I further embrace the hair grown from my body by embellishing my burlesque costume with hair tassels. Playing with the desirability of head hair when it is situated on another part of the body. Conducting interviews with a variety of different people and recording the audio has allowed me to play with different narratives and perspectives. To really understand the power dynamic that is present in the illusion of a burlesque performance, is the power with the dancer that relies on audience participation, or with the viewer that needs the dancer to embody their desires?

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