Mary Lou Lipkin
I first discovered the tiny lotus slippers at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada while perusing my interest in oriental embroidery and textiles. These shoes were so elegant, yet so contradictory that I felt compelled to explore the life and times of the makers of these exquisite instruments of torture.
This interest led to a multi dimensional series, Exquisite Torture, which focuses on woman’s culture and traditions during the great Tang Dynasty of China (610-907). My aim is to evoke imagined events in the life of these women, their festivals, friendships, their secret writings and lifestyles. These images are intended to celebrate the grace and strength of women even as they suffer under the often harsh limitations imposed by society across time and cultures.