Erica Fitzgerald

  • Untitled, 2022 Soil, plastic sheeting, machine embroidery
  • Untitled, 2022 Soil, plastic sheeting, machine embroidery
  • Self-portrait, 2023 Soil, pine, linen, paint
  • Soil Knot, 2022 Soil, plastic sheeting, machine embroidery
  • Soil Print, 2023 Soil, cotton

Erica Fitzgerald is an interdisciplinary artist that uses sculpture and mixed media to touch on topics surrounding ecology, feminism, and dominance structures. She earned her BFA in sculpture at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and is currently an MFA candidate and educator at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

My practice activates soil as a material to document similarities womxn share with nature and their historical stories of being dominated by men and societal control. The devitalization of soil and the use of land for patriarchal development are directly related to the human impulse to dominate and control womxn. The productivity of soil and women ultimately determine the existence of all life. “In Western patriarchal culture, both womxn and nonhuman nature have been devalued alongside their assumed opposites–men and civilization/culture” (Kemmerer, 2011). Womxn’s role in society is strictly based on the needs and desires of men. These societies seek to domesticate womxn as they have domesticated land, cattle, chickens, cats, and dogs. There is evidence of this within social patterns in beauty standards, child-rearing rituals, household expectations, rape culture, federal and state legislation, and systematic wage gaps.
I rely heavily on archival references that can be made into simplistic snapshots of past truths to convey the current social constraints placed on womxn. I use soil to unify and embody movements of liberation, from patriarchal dominance over womxn and nature. While examining the relationship between domesticated environments and patriarchal control through the lens of art and ecology, further strengthening conversations about conservation and human impact. Recycled and repurposed materials reflect a connection to landscape, fertility, labor, natural environments, and the body. In contrasting natural and synthetic materials to construct artifacts, these pieces take on elements of reclaimed environments and assemblages of growth that can form in both nature and the human body.

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  • Artist Info

    • Champaign, IL
      US - East
    • 6149730499

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