‘A Swarm of Follies’ paid homage to Riviere’s classic essay ‘Womanliness as Masquerade’ in which she defines masquerade as a sign of women’s failure to live up to the demands of the feminine ideal. Inspired by the writings of Joan Riviere, Bracha Ettinger and Charles Baudelaire, Wilson’s images of women’s faces peer from within layers of decorative stitch and lace forms to represent the stifling expectations of womanhood. Wilson also explored these themes in a series of ceramics referencing variations on the figurine in ‘Spoiled at the Hatton Gallery,’ which commenced 27th November 2009.
Wilson is a Scottish-born artist now based in London. She has won many prizes and has exhibited throughout the UK as well as in Holland, Belgium and the USA. As a child, Elaine was fascinated by the ornaments and accessories collected by various female relatives. Her current work seeks to explore the legacy of a feminine aesthetic often with reference to literature and text, particularly by writers at the turn of the century.
She concentrates on pattern, lace-making and embroidery traditionally identified as ‘women’s work’, cutting out elements of each then assembling them to draw attention to the detail and pattern thereby revealing a darker psychology of restriction and constraint.