For ‘Her’

Emma Traynor

Belfast School of Art, Ulster University

My work examines products that manufacturers have designed specifically for women. There is a conventional and questionable design aesthetic connected to items marketed to women. It would seem that manufacturers and advertisers believe women will be more likely to purchase an item if it is decorated with certain colours and symbols connected to the feminine. I chose to photograph tools marketed to women to highlight the absurdity of this notion. My work echoes Walker Evans classic photographs published under the title ìBeauties of the Common Tool.î But where Evansí photographs are hallmarked by a shadowless, mercurial quality, my images are light and delicate, keeping with the aesthetic that the manufacturers have attempted to promote. But my images of tools highlight the irony of the marketing and design. My work aims to question the absurd idea that women prefer the colour pink, and soft, rounded edges in everything, even the hammer they are about to use to sink a wood nail.

Gardening spade.