The Peacock Wallpaper
Mixed-media installation (audio, 19:20 minutes)
I am interested in issues of psychological violence and the historical phenomenon of ‘female hysteria’. My inspiration for this project is “The Yellow Wallpaper,” (1891), a short story about domestic psychological abuse and madness by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This installation utilizes photography, audio and sculptural elements. I have re-created a colonial era bedroom within the gallery, which is inspired by the Victorian wallpapered bedroom that is the setting for the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” There are photographs, Anglo-Indian furnishings, and a William Morris style wallpaper with scrawled journal-style writing that tell the personal story of a fictional character -an upper-class, modern, educated and ambitious Indian woman who is driven mad by her husband in the 1920’s. She is present in the room only as a deceased character, seen in a series of surreal vignettes in an old family photo album and in four portraits on the walls. The story about the woman’s life is also heard through audio speakers in the room, which is narrated by the main character in the form of a short fragmented Gothic ghost story.