Grace Whiteside

I was raised by an interior designer as a mother and a DIY reality television star as a father. My home life was filled with cameras and wealthy housewife clientele, and I became desensitized to the idea of the home being “on view.” The family business became a television stage set and someone else’s kitchen remodel meant food on our table, teaching me that home improvement is geared toward the reflection of one’s self and one’s quantifiable worth within a heteronormative, consumerist society. As a queer woman who grew up feeling “other”, my work comes from the urgent need to navigate and imagine alternate ideas of the home.

As a sculptor, glass-blower, and installation artist, I am drawn to materials such as soap, tile, wallpaper, dishware, and other markers of “Do It Yourself” craft culture, usually located within the domestic home and gendered as a woman’s hobby. Detaching these objects from their usual use and status upends heteronormativity within the household, allowing space for my impulsive performance alter ego, Stacy Wallman.

I created Stacy three years ago as a performance surrogate for my own body and experiences, an unfiltered version of myself. In each performance, Stacy consciously inhabits a feminized role, often that of an absurd entertainer like a TV-talk show host, an infomercial star, or the subject of her own sitcom. Sifting through these veils of performativity and lived experience allows me to explore the internal conflicts around womanhood, queerness, gender and self-identity occurring in everyday domestic life.