Senior project examines veils of modern women

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By Erica Fugger

Courtesy of Eliza Duquette

On display this month is Eliza Duquette’s senior art project, a series of digital prints entitled Cover Girls.

Duquette utilized makeup and makeup remover to imprint the facial features of thirty females from around Union’s campus on Japanese paper. She then used digital manipulation to recreate the faces of the individuals, sometimes mixing multiple features in order to generate a full image.

The project took one term to complete. Duquette spent the greatest amount of time honing her topic and gathering the photographs that then allowed for the creation of her art. She cited basic Photoshop skills obtained in a Digital Arts course as the only experience she had in digital pursuits prior to the project.

Duquette applied to the Internal Education Foundation (IEF)  and was able to supplement the cost of supplies through this form of funding.

The senior found her inspiration through the subject of “identity and creating an image,” while also being highly influenced by her interest in the Muslim veil.

Her senior thesis included this topic, as she interviewed nine local Muslim women to gain insight into their experiences with prejudice while wearing the headscarf, also known as hijab.

Duquette found that while many people believe that wearing hijab represents the oppression of Muslim women, the individuals she interviewed actually said that they felt “liberated and free” instead of being judged on their appearance.

The artist drew connections between the veils that these Muslim women wear and the makeup worn by many women on a daily basis. She reasoned that American females put on their own type of veil, “hiding their true face or remaking themselves into something else to fit a certain image, or portray[ing] back onto society what society wants to see.”

As a result, Duquette created her senior project on the topic of covering and veiling through makeup, looking to reflect the intentions and motivations of women who wear the products. The project also allowed the artist to reconsider her own use of makeup.

In reference to what she would like observers to take away from her exhibit, Duquette replied, “Just to look at them and take away what they will. But, to put it broadly, I would like people to think more about what we do as humans and why we do it, and in this case specifically with women and makeup use in America.”

Cover Girls will run from April 11 through 22 in the Visual Arts Department’s Atrium Gallery. The gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and also displays the works of Reshad Mahmud ‘11 and Neena Jube ‘11.

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