Raven Stanhope is a nonbinary 2020 candidate for BFA degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Ceramics. They work in figuration using coil and slab construction techniques, exploring internal feelings of gender and reflections on external gendering by society. Stanhope is a 2015 graduate of Quincy High School, and has recently attended a number of workshops at the Peters Valley Crafts Center in Layton, NJ where they received scholarships.
I use sculptural figural pieces to relate to my internal feelings of gender and reflections on external gendering by society. My goal is to give the viewer a sense of what those feelings might be.
Making figural pieces that closely human figures in terms of scale make the work more impactful in terms being more directly relatable to the viewer. In earlier work there was a lack a distinctive facial features, in an attempt to draw more attention to the gesture of the figure as a whole.
In my current work, I seek to present my own internal awareness of my gender in such a way that the audience is made to confront these feelings in the same way that I have had to. Whenever I have tried to answer questions about what my gender is, and why I would rather be identified as the gender I am rather than as something else, I have often found myself at a loss for words. I arrived at the conclusion that questions like these were more for the benefit of other people rather than myself. I have since opted to try to put my feelings into a physical medium so that others might understand, even if I am not interested in the root cause of them.