The average North American is exposed to more than three thousand advertisements per day. For women, the messages promoted by these ads create a constant, unrelenting mantra: your body must be symmetrically perfect, blemish free, skinny, hairless, and white.
I am devoted to exposing advertisements as controlling mechanisms that destroy women and promote corporate greed at the expense of our humanity. Currently, my body of work consists of almost one hundred artworks. This portfolio contains thirty of my strongest images. The techniques I use to create my images parallel those of advertisers. Photoshop is the dominant force through which their message travels, so I’ve appropriated this tool for my own use. I use digital imaging techniques to create my artworks. Images are gleaned from a number of sources, and stitched together to expose feminine virtues that are considered taboo: anger, physical asymmetry, and the grotesque.
I aim to hijack the language of advertising to critique how we absorb and overlook the messages it promotes. By penetrating the psychological membrane of consumerist consciousness, and creatively attempting to commandeer its linguistics, the language of advertising becomes an artistic one. My art’s messages are designed to help viewers break free of the hive mind and the psychological effects of advertising culture.
Sarah Ferguson is an interdisciplinary MFA student currently studying Visual Art and Queer/Gender Studies at the University of Regina in Regina, Canada. She has been a practicing artist since 1996, and also holds a degree in Journalism. She has worked as an arts-related reporter across Western Canada and the Northwest Territories, is a published poet, and has written about the Western Canadian art scene. Her work addresses feminist subject matter, media and advertising, women’s body image issues, notions of performativity, queer bodies, and the grotesque. While her work focuses extensively on digital imagery, collage and the internet, her artistic practice has recently expanded to include digital photography and performance.