Allyson Mitchell

Ladies Sasquatch, 2006 - 2010



Ladies Sasquatch is a large scale installation consisting of six gigantic and 25 smaller she-beast sculptures presented on a stage/platform measuring 10 feet x 10 feet. The exhibition includes a soundscape consisting of collaged music samples and nature sound effects. The six giantess sculptures represent lesbian feminist sasquatches. The elements of the installation are constructed with appliqué borg, found textiles and taxidermy supplies and influenced by photographs found in Playboy magazines from the 1970's and by the bodies of real fat activists.

Buried in the memory banks of collective popular culture is the mythical and spiritual creature called Sasquatch. Aboriginal ideas about Sasquatch (or "Wildman of the Forest" as he is called in the US and Sabe or Big Foot in Ojibwe cultural terms), have been appropriated by the white Canadian mainstream settler culture, arguably as an expression of racist fears around the "otherness" of native culture and nature in general. In traditional Western thought, the female body has been associated with nature, chaos and irrationality, and the male with order and rationality. Ladies Sasquatch is meant to work as a point of departure for thinking about decolonized, queer, politicized bodies, sexuality and communities. In an attempt to imagine different sexual currencies Ladies Sasquatch valorizes cellulite, dirty fingernails, tattoos, big butts, fangs, collectivity and collaboration. The creatures in Ladies Sasquatch marry popular culture, native iconography and radical dyke culture to create a kind of queer utopian dream world.