Designing a Feminist Pole Mat

When looking at the performance space, I found the black mat at the bottom of the pole to be too hidden in the background. I also wanted to have a stronger link to feminism in the performance and that could be left as a reminder of the performance.

Through looking at the posters of the past 100+ years in Women’s Vote: 100 Years, I picked out some key elements to work with. This included the fist, wording and the two hands reaching towards each other.

Although these two designs encompassed very feminist ideas, I did not find the fist something enjoyable to work with. The power behind it works, however I could not find a composition that I found suitable. Even with the wording, the composition still felt off as though it was missing something.

I also singled out the words that were commonly used throughout posters in the feminist movements. Putting these on their own design allowed me to see that they had a smaller impact that originally thought, and that I wanted an image with it. I also noticed on the posters the two hands reaching to each other. I found this design much better as it was softer and more caring (like women are supposedly more like compared to men), however still had the impact of the scale. The reaching out together I found to be more symbolic that women have each other, and the closeness that we are to perhaps reaching the feminist goals. I still, however, wasn’t completely happy with this.

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The fifth design encompassed the two symbols that I found. This, again, was very powerful, however I found that I wanted the words to be there, in order to highlight to people the subject that I was breaching. With this, it can be dismissed because some may not know the history of the symbols. With words, however, you are almost forced to read it and take in what is being said. This led me to the final design:

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This involved all the parts that I preferred in the other designs, while still keeping soft but powerful. People often underestimate women, and this is what I want people to think of the mat cover. It will only be when they see it closer that they realise the full impact of what it is saying, take it in and also reflect upon it. The mat cover also allows a more immersive experience where you are able to reflect, much like in the works of Pepón Osorio.


I began making the mat along with appropriate size hole for the pole, and a overhang for the size. I did, however, change my idea for what I wanted to do, and so I did not use this mate cover in the end. If I did use it, I would have been happy with the design I chose and the materials of wool and thin cream fabric.

2 thoughts on “Designing a Feminist Pole Mat

  1. Pingback: Designing a Performance Costume | Charlotte Abraham Art

  2. Pingback: Final Performance Costume Design | Charlotte Abraham Art

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