HELLO NEIGHBOR - Domestic Hardware
title: Domestic Hardware
artist: Tonya J. Hart
materials: Used Ironing Board Covers
dimensions: Org. 12’ x 5 ‘, varies upon installation
location: Interior of personal residence (1842 Cuyler Ave., Berwyn, IL, 60402)
My installation makes use of the windows visible from the street that wrap around the front of my home, an octagon bungalow. In the windows I have hung used ironing board covers on the wall of the living room. They are visible from windows in the living room, framed in purple tape. Window contents are easily visible from the street so passersby can get a clear view of the work.
My installation relates to both the mindset of “shelter in place” and the state of the world. This installation of used ironing board covers, representing the mundane domesticity of the everyday that has now been elevated to lifesaving. This display of shroud-like fabric, reminds us of the body, our own mortality, and human frailty. I think that we do not typically engage in conversations about death now it is all around us and we are unequipped to make sense of it and the chaos surrounding the pandemic.
I began my life as an artist - as far back as I can recall I have related to the world around me visually. In college I began to acknowledge my perspective as a woman and grow a feminist body of work. Many years later I remain committed to my worldview that the work of women must be elevated. I work in a studio that is in my home and I utilize materials familiar to women. Follow her on Instagram: @Tjhart3273
More on Tonya J. Hart's practice:
The goal of my work is to present to my audience my personal conviction that relentlessly exposes the intimacies of womens’ lives. This is communicated through an artistic vocabulary consisting of specifically loaded materials, previously used remnants that are reminders of the people who have used them. Materials can range from old nylons to soiled mattresses. The markings left by previous owners are evidence of a personal history that we all experience, we all leave stains. The presence of human contact assures audiences of my commitment to the essence of the content. By using familiar materials there is a direct connection to the viewer, and as a result the audience can readily identify with the completed piece. This intimate memory, caused in part by the materials, affects the viewer individually and on a more universal level.