Society has always had an obsession with good and evil. We subconsciously compartmentalise everything in our lives this way, and scrutinise what we cannot identify. I have chosen anti-heroines to demonstrate this dilemma. Women in film and arts have always had to maintain an immaculate moral compass acompanied with the best intentions and only recently have anti-heroines emerged in pop culture.
I have chosen Empress Dowager Cixi and Dominika from the movie Red Sparrow as case studies of this project as they both encompass the archetype of the anti-heroine – having good intentions but with a less than immaculate moral compass. Through her reign, the empress dowager murdered countless court members to remain in power. Dominika had to engage in sexpionage training and missions to entrap a CIA agent, but primarily to aid her ailing mother. That their intentions are often misunderstood and misjudged is something I often experience myself.
Inspired by the empress dowager’s intense superstition and heavy use of symbolism in her everyday life to manifest her long reign of power and Dominika’s sexpionage works, I have juxtaposed their intentions and actions, and incorporated surrealism as an overarching theme with the help of symbols and the signified. Through a range of techniques expressed through a textiles collection with five themes: Symbolism, Innuendos, Body and Heritage, the essence of antiheroines come to life.