Cover Her Up Discussion by Mandy Lane is a contribution by Mandy Lane as part of Wales Arts Review’s new series, Artists in Residence. Throughout 2017 artists, including Mandy Lane will take a leading creative role in what Wales Arts Review publishes, centring their skills on a challenging project over the course of a month. We were inundated with applications, receiving hundreds of emails about the positions, and it was no easy task whittling down all that talent to this final eleven. Our team of six editors debated long into the night, and in the end, we decided on a collection of people who we most want to work with, and whose work excites us. We think you will be excited by them too.
Mandy Lane graduated from Carmarthen School of Art with a 2-1 BA Hons in Fine Art Sculpture and has completed her MA Contemporary Dialogues in Swansea College of Art with distinction. She is a sculpture lecturer at Carmarthen School of Art, a member of Sculpture Cymru, a fellow in 56 Group and most recently forms part of the all-woman group Iron Maidens made in Wales.
The short story The Buddhist Priest’s Wife written by Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) is arguably a conversation between the socio-culturally constructed genders portrayed through an intimate dialogue between the female protagonist and her male counterpart in which one is saying goodbye to the other. In this exchange, both characters smoke consistently and discuss the reasons for the protagonist’s imminent departure. The pair discuss societal life, marriage and death with their regards to how these are affected by their respective genders. The cultural patriarchal ideal that women should marry, have children and be subservient to men is challenged by the woman. This sentiment is encapsulated when the woman talks of the liberation from her sex through the act of death.
Death means so much more to a woman than a man; when you knew you were dying, to look round on the world and feel the bond of sex that has broken and crushed you all your life gone, nothing but human left, no woman any more, to meet everything on perfectly even ground.
In light of international woman’s day ‘Cover her up’ is a response to this short story told in a time when marriage and children were the only way and anything else was considered a wasted life.