York University (Toronto, ON)
The act of repetition exists as both a means to an end and a worshipful act in Donoghue-Stanford’s sculptural practice. As the work builds naturally and progressively overtime, the process grants the opportunity to reflect upon memory and association that is integral to Donoghue-Stanford’s work as it presents an understanding of womanhood and femininity. Anxiety and fear express themselves through the mind and body in various forms and specifically within femininity, it exists as a part of the everyday; it is ever-present and dictates our actions, hopes, desires, and limitations. In opening this dialogue, she can communicate the anxieties and fears of the mind and body in reference to herself and other women, approaching them both literally and abstractly.
From the transformation and juxtaposition of materiality, Donoghue-Stanford incorporates “women’s work” and feminine associated objects intimately into her repetitive process to immortalize them, integrating them into higher status; offering a rebirth away from their patriarchal associations. Elements of her work seek to call into question the association we have in male and female associated labours; working in both the sculptural processes of bronze casting and metal fabrication concurrently with craft-based works through knitting and embroidery. In taking on both these labours, repetitive and time consuming, Donoghue-Stanford seeks to echo feminist philosophies and concepts to worship the courage of femininity and womanhood and showcase the strength present within all women. This is a dialogue, once opened, cannot be entirely shut out, and Donoghue-Stanford’s work seeks to nurture it to be ever evolving with the societal shift in our treatment of femininity and womanhood.