Trigger Warning: This page may contain information relating to someone's gender inequitable experiences including suicides. This may be triggering to readers with similar experiences.

This submission is part of the Expressions of Gender Equity art project - a 2021 International Women's Day initiative. We thank all artists who responded to our artistic briefs and are honoured to showcase their work.

Artist Statement

In response to the art brief:

Boxed In (2021) is a miniature art quilt created with handmade felt, wool felt, embroidery threads, beads, cotton and silk.

The artwork is my visual representation of the numerous and varied roles (both paid and unpaid) that women in the current era hold and are expected to manage simultaneously. The current societal expectation of an unattainably high level of performance at each and every one of these roles is an incredible pressure to endure.

The traditional roles of women have been shifting rapidly in recent years, yet even as a female artist there is a divide between being able to progress in one’s career, simultaneously spending quality time with one’s family and being taken seriously and respected within both roles. The squares and rectangles within the piece are highly complex, completely unique to one another and also do not exist entirely independently of one another (with yarn, stitching and even leaves overlapping) as is reflected in a woman managing all of these roles at once.

Art Brief

Jessie Bleakley

Boxed In, 2021

Melbourne, VIC, Australia| Miniature art quilt

About the Artist:

Jessie is a recent graduate from RMIT’s Bachelor of Fine Art specialising in Sculpture. She is an interdisciplinary artist working across the mediums of textiles, bronze, wood, glass, installation and gold and silversmithing. Her work often explores conceptual conversations such as interconnectedness, grief, mental illness and her role as a female artist and mother. Jessie is keen to continue to use her artwork to open a natural dialogue through which these and other complex issues can engage with viewers of the artworks.

To get in contact with Jessie: