Like most schools in the UK (and Australia) from 6-16 years you wear a school uniform. During school hours you put fashion aside and take on a similar appearance. What are the reasons for doing this? To remove the pressure of having to compete with your fellow students in the style stakes. To remove the pressure on your parents wallets! We all know fashion costs and not everyone can join in. To maintain discipline like an army of students under the schools control! What do you think? Let’s look at Brett Alexander’s work: “Playing with Dolls” - Rows of identical little outfits. Are we all the same? If you look closely the text sewn onto the uniforms are different however. Some of the words are harsh and cruel. This artwork takes a critical look at stereotyping and the problems of forcing people into narrow categories because of their gender or sexual orientation. Brett Alexander is a gay artist who grew up in Australia. He wants to challenge us through his textile works and invites us perhaps to consider that we are all complex human beings in a wider society with diverse tastes and interests that make us individuals and communities. Stereotyping can be repressive and limiting, and can restrict a person’s freedom of expression.
[Exhibition]. Hardcore Soft. (Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arkitektur og Design [Norwegian National Museum for Art, Architecture & Design], Drammen, Norway 2006)