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Zoe Hawk’s oil and gauche paintings reflect her interest in the relation of feminine identity to institutions. The uniforms and group activities presented here are a metaphor for the mechanisms of gendered socialization.
Her paintings explore the simultaneous longing for and resistance of femininity of young girls. While dressed in matching uniform and apparently constrained by institutions, these girls flock and flee, exclude and embrace, quarrel and ally—mischief, communion leading ultimately to rebellion is present in each image.
Hawk champions the idea that group acceptance must come at the expense of individuality. ‘Under the watchful eye of institutional power, the spirit of these girls endures as they reveal the beautiful complexities of their character,’ she says.