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O is for Old by Deborah Eddy

O is for Old

Deborah Eddy

A portrait of
Deborah Eddy
Medium
Photograph

Dimensions

51 x 76 cm
Representation
The artist represents themselves
Category
Sylvia Jones Prize for Women Artists
Accenture Digital Award
About the artwork

“O is for Old” speaks about the loneliness some older women (and men) can suffer. Often older people are stranded in their homes, their families perhaps living far away. Mental illnesses such as chronic depression can be an unfortunate side effect of ageing and this can also isolate older people. Deborah Eddy says, “I shot this photo in 2019 as a self-portrait about the loneliness that I have often felt as an older woman. Little did I know that I would soon live through the COVID19 self-isolation. The loneliness, pain and sadness of not seeing my children and grandchildren was almost unbearable.” 

About the sitter

This piece is a self portrait.

About the artist

Deborah Eddy is an emerging feminist activist artist. Her Doctoral work researches feminist activism. As  an older woman she has a particular interest in ageism, the invisibility of older women and gerontological feminist theory. Her past works have also commented on women’s domestic inequality, domestic violence and the environment.

“I use the methodology of craftivism which is craft plus activism to make sculptures and the costumes I perform in.”

Behind the scenes

As an older woman artist, I use sculpture and performance to speak about my experience and perspective of ageing and society. I use the methodology of craftivism which is craft plus activism to make sculptures and the costumes I perform in. I use sewing, weaving, knitting and embroidery to make kitchenalia, quilts, samplers and the aforementioned costumes one of which I am wearing in this ‘selfie’. 

I use building supplies and safety equip to make my work. These materials are a deliberate feminising of items more commonly associated in male orientated occupations. Metaphorically I am addressing the inequities in women’s labour both employed and domestic. Additionally, the high vis palette gives a hypervisibility to the issues I am commenting on.