Samantha Western is an Auckland-based artist working across a range of mediums. Interests ranging from digital drawing, painting and craft to installation and immersive spaces.
Her work critiques the patriarchal view of gender binary with a particular focus on the extremes of the feminine. By employing methods such as exaggeration and overuse of tropes and stereotypes, Samantha examines the concept of hyper femininity. The hyper is considered an ‘extreme,’ perceived as excessive adherence to traditional gender roles and stereotypes. ‘Typical’ tropes, such as flowers and the colour pink play a monumental role in the formal aspect of her practice.
Through colour association, pink is considered part of the ‘framework’ of the female stereotype, along with ideas and traits such as delicacy and sweetness. These terms are also used to describe flowers. Utilising these connections, her studio research focuses on flowers and variations of pink. Looking into the perceived difference between femininity and hyper femininity. Trying to find the tipping point between a ‘normal’ and ‘extreme.’
Installation plays a great part of her practice, using immersive spaces to help determine the difference between art and decoration. The artificiality of adornment highlights the relationship between materials, location and imagery.