Modern Day Relationships – Chelsie Dysart

As a contemporary art student in Alloa, Scotland, Chelsea Dysart is interested in gender roles and  how they are treated, which led her, after many research methods, to create a series that visually show these different types of relationships, which she found apparent in today’s modern society. 

Actuellement étudiante en art contemporain à Alloa en Ecosse, Chelsea Dysart porte un grand intérêt aux roles et traitements des différents genres; ce qui l’a poussé, après de nombreuses méthodes de recherches, vers la création d’une série dépeignant les différents types de relations apparentes au sein de la société moderne.


Can you describe your work?
The artwork “Modern Day Relationships” acts as an observational series to an extent. Traditionally a relationship would consist of gender roles; a man would go out to work and act as the breadwinner whilst the woman would have the man’s children, stay at home and cook clean and act as a mother figure. Through time, did this all change? It could be said we don’t respect each other as much as tradition would show. We appear to sexualise everything, which can easily be seen through advertisements and the celebrity culture which surrounds us. Does this make relationships less appealing and the likes of one night stands and sleeping around more appealing? Maybe, but through that we are losing respect for one another.

As so, I conducted first hand research to find out where relationships stand in modern day society. I had done so by creating an online survey to gather information. I analysed the results and it strongly suggested that there is five relationship types within modern day society. I observed characteristics of these relationship types further and applied it to developing and refining until I was happy with my final outcome artwork.  These relationship types which seem to be apparent are traditional, same sex, single parent, those who prefer pets to children and one night stands. My art work is communicating that the way we treat and view each other in modern day society is changing.

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What significance does this project have to you?
This project held significance to me as I consider myself to have to an extent a traditional mind. I believe that when it comes to being with someone you shouldn’t sexually object either party and with being sexually involved with someone it is an act of commitment with someone you care for, something which holds respect. On nights out, you see the same situations each time. Personally I do have a partner but for some reason that never seems to put others off on nights out. Loss of respect, you see. You can observe individuals on the dance floor grabbing each other, trying to get the other alone into a corner of the dance floor and so on. This doesn’t stop there, it continues outside also where you can hear the drunken cat calls of derogatory remarks instead of gentleman and lady like gestures which may work better in everyone’s favour to show respect. Because of this, I wanted to observe modern day relationships and to see where they stand.

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Who or what influences you?
I was originally inspired to create this artwork whilst looking at Richard Hamilton’s “Just what makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?”. Whilst observing this artwork it was very clear that the visual woman is being shown as a sexual object – with a lampshade on her head also it is almost as if she is a part of furniture, an object to be owned and is also barely dressed and composed in a sexual position. The male visual is not much better neither, this image appears to be vain and the type that appears to be in love with themselves. This piece made me question modern day relationships as the female is not a mother figure and the male is not a father, husband and hard working breadwinner.

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What’s the best part about being a woman* artist in 2016?
Being a female artist in 2016 is great, in simple terms. As traditionally it could be said that art itself was very male dominated but today it is not so apparent. Being a female artist in 2016 gives me the opportunity to boldly and visually shout and communicate my messages through my work. It allows me to air my concerns on topics and to show my passion for other topics. The best part about being a female artist in 2016 is that I have a voice.

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Artist’s Statement:
The way society reflects upon gender roles and the way each sex is treated within different situations is a main area of interest of me. I am excited by observing these different situations and gathering the reprobates to create an art work from this. My project which I will go on to discus with you was greatly inspired by Richard Hamilton’s “what makes today’s Homes so different, so appealing?”. This piece took my interest because of the two individuals visually shown within the art work. The man appears to be a symbol of masculinity, dominance, vanity whisky the woman is unclothed and she appears to be in a very sexualised position with what appears to be a lamp shade on her head. To me this communicates that women are being treated as sexual objects, as if they are simply an object like a lamp to be owned by a man. A woman is submissive. This piece sparked in my mind and I questioned is this still apparent in modern day society or have we changed from the 1956?

I recently conducted a project where I observed modern day relationships, I was interested in exploring whether relationships are still traditionally made up of a man who is the breadwinner and a woman who stays at home to care for the children. I conducted various research methods and o concluded that there are 5 different relationship types in today’s society. These relationship types consisted of:

1. Traditional.
2. Same sex.
3. Single parents.
4. Those who prefer pets over children.
5. One night stands.

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