Plates Against Patriarchy is a female organized pottery project that invites participation from a world-wide audience. We combine handmade plates with the glazed portraits, and narratives of everyday women.The portrait plates are made by hand, created through a collaborative art making practice of three artists. Each plate gives voice to a woman, pairing her selfie with a phrase of her choosing. The phrase comes from the story she tells about her experience in our patriarchal society. We collect these stories virtually on social media, and through writing workshops and one-on-one meetings. These stories will be shared through Plates Against Patriarchy exhibitions, blogs, publications, and other events.
Plates Against Patriarchy was founded by artists Helen Atkins, Jordyn Bernicke, and Monique Rivera. We met through our studies at the University of New Mexico while working at a community ceramic studio, and immediately bonded over our love of clay.
As a group of female potters and ceramicists we are inspired by the strength and fluidity of clay, and see it as a metaphor for the resilience of women. While porcelain plates are often seen as delicate and fragile, they are actually fortified and strong. Our work juxtaposes stereotypes of feminine identity, with the reality of our experiences. Porcelain plates, being a typical image of domesticity, provide the perfect surface for us to challenge patriarchal standards and share the images and stories of women, by women.
We believe our collaborative process creates strong artworks that speak to the importance of mutual female support. We have experience in ceramic mosaics, sculpture, carving, glazing and pottery, as well as other artistic mediums. By banding together and sharing our knowledge we create visually dynamic pieces. Each piece is worked on by all of us from the throwing, carving, and glazing. Through each step we work together and encourage one another, pushing our abilities and testing new techniques. This collaborative practices gives us the confidence to experiment and challenge ourselves, resulting in pieces that are rich in process and spirit. The support we offer each other artistically, and the beautiful artworks that result, are a testament to the strength of female relationships.