Student exhibit explores femininity, sexual assault

Publication Date

In celebration of the 50th year of women at Union, the Wikoff Student Gallery is producing exhibitions this year that focus on female-empowering themes.

The Weight of This, on view through Feb. 7, explores perceptions of femininity and sexual assault through works by visual arts students Lilith Haig ’21 and Tina Tully ’21.

“As female students at a historically men’s college and in a patriarchal society, we have both created Scholars’ Projects exploring feminism and sexual assault,” the artists write. “Through the integration of sculpture, collage and printmaking, we have created pieces that portray our opinions on the female figure and on sexual assault.”

In collaboration with the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, the opening reception Oct. 23 will include the Annual Sadock Women in the Arts Lecture. Set for 5-6:30 p.m. at the Nott Memorial, it will feature Brooklyn-based artist and social activist Traci Molloy.

In addition, Haig and Tully hope to open up a campus-wide dialogue about the treatment of women on campus during a group discussion in the Nott Memorial on Oct. 24, 5-6:30 p.m. Moderated by Molloy, it will create a safe space for all students to express their views. A casual buffet dinner will be available shortly before the event begins.

Lilith’s project combines the ancient Japanese form of printmaking called mokuhanga, or woodblock printing, with haiku.

Tully’s plaster and wood sculptures represent abstract versions of the female figure in “an attempt to challenge the way that people view a woman’s body” and represent “the power that a woman has independent from her reproductive features.”

The two women also offer a trigger warning, noting that “sexual violence, sexual assault and abuse are some topics mentioned in this exhibition.” They ask those who feel triggered to visit the Title IX website for information about resources on and off campus that can assist.