Something to Think About: Images of Women in Modern Media

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jarrett Ellington calls his creation “Weapons of Self Destruction.” It is a ceramic torso in black and white striped lingerie. The ribs are showing, as are tattoos of a skull in a WWII-style helmet, mushroom clouds and falling bombs.

Jarrett Ellington calls his creation “Weapons of Self Destruction.” It is a ceramic torso in black and white striped lingerie. The ribs are showing, as are tattoos of a skull in a WWII-style helmet, mushroom clouds and falling bombs. Skin melts away from the shoulder joints, revealing gears and other machine parts. There are other images too, of destruction and death. They are  “a melting pot of all these different stereotypes that people want women to be,” said Ellington, a senior art student at the University of West Georgia.

The piece, and its companion “Death by Sexy”  – this ceramic is clad in tight jeans – won UWG’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition recently.

The pair represent “how people view women today,” said Ellington, 22. “They want them to be these machine-made and perfect figures. Like robots being pumped out of a factory.”

There is no escaping the damaging images of women in today’s media, he said.

“I see all these commercials and infomercials on TV, such as the Real Housewives and the Kardashians, that a lot of people idolize and want to look like,” he said. “It's kind of silly and sickening when you think about it. It's like there's a fixed formula that's been created that women have to fit in order to be considered perfect.”

For inspiration in creating the ceramics Ellington looked to World War II images and the work of contemporary artists Jason Walker and Sergei Isupov.

This was Ellington’s first exhibit. His concentration is graphic design. But Ellington wants to continue working with ceramics.

“I feel relaxed when I'm painting this imagery on my figures with my tiny paintbrushes, while listening to music,” said the Augusta native. “It makes me feel like I've accomplished something whenever I create something original with my hands that no one has ever made before.”

To see more of Ellington’s work, find him on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1114920148.