Nicole O’Loughlin’s hand embroideries depict pop icons in humorous and witty compositions. Reminiscing over childhood and teenage idols Nicole works with embroidery, which has previously been described as a ‘domestic art’, to present pop icons in irreverent and gender challenging thread paintings.
The works offer a postmodern take on needlework, readdressing the craft vs art debate and revaluing what has previously been seen as ‘domestic’ and ‘women’s’ work. Combined with the reinterpretation of domestic objects, Nicole seeks to challenge the pre-conceived notion of the feminine arts as well as flipping the male gaze that occurs in pop culture as well as the fine art world.
Inspiration for the works stems from a childhood attending Catholic schooling, whilst coming home and dancing in front of RAGE wanting to be just like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. Whilst the works do pay homage to those celebrities and characters that were popular during the artist’s childhood, they also take a stab at the celebrity worship that happens within our society. Placing humans on a pedestal, and the idolization of those who seem more beautiful and talented than us, played out through the rehashing of religious iconography and references to classical art.