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What women worry about

Artistic projects that give ordinary women a chance to express their private concerns are rare. But here’s one and it gives an insight into what keeps us awake at night.

It’s the work of Brisbane artist Kym Frame. It’s also the third project Kym has created to highlight aspects of our experience as women.

The first was called ‘Breathe’ — about the busyness of our lives. Her point was that most of us need to stop, get off the treadmill and take a breath.

The second was ‘Women Afoot’, where Kym made paper casts of 100 women’s feet to illustrate the need for us to stand in support of each other, rather than competing or tearing each other down. 

Her latest project is ‘In the Hold’. She’s used the same casting technique — with paper made from banana-tree fibre — to create a cast of her own body. It sits on a flawless white table to highlight our own imperfection and it has a wound in the shoulder area where we carry so much of our stress.

She asked women to write their fears on small six-sided pieces of paper that she has strung together and attached to the sculpture of her body. 

Over 100 women sent her their pieces of paper, along with cards, notes and letters, many of them saying that writing down their fear had reduced the weight of it in their lives.

The teacup stains on some are a tell-tale sign of the way women sat at the kitchen table to think about their responses.
What they said is not surprising and it’s illuminating at the same time. 

Younger women are concerned with being ‘good enough’ – as mothers, as women, at work, in juggling work and family, and generally living up to what they think everyone expects of them.

Women over 65 are concerned about how their old age might play out. They’re afraid of becoming disabled and losing their independence, and losing the people who matter.

One of the upsides of Kym’s work is that when it’s exhibited women viewers see that their insecurities are widely shared. 

'In the Hold' recently won a national contemporary art award and will be exhibited in Brisbane later this year. 



Photo Source: Kym Frame


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson