Weeping women 2014
cast concrete, brass, internal irrigation system and water
Ian Potter Sculpture Court Commission, 2014
Monash University Collection
Location: corner of College Walk and Scenic Boulevard, Clayton campus
Sanné Mestrom's Weeping women were originally commissioned by MUMA for temporary installation in the Ian Potter Sculptural Court at the Caulfield campus. As a result of their popular reception at Caulfield, Mestrom’s Weeping women were relocated to the Clayton campus as part of a new landscape project with Taylor Cullity Lethlen Landscape Architects (TCL).
The Weeping women make up a group of public sculptures that are deeply informed by the artist's feminist perspective. They engage in a dialogue with the history of modern art and make a concerted effort to subvert the forms, materials and techniques that are typically associated with canonical male artists' works. In Weeping Women, the female body is extolled as a life-giving force: alternately adopting birthing postures and referencing the Aztec goddess of purification Tlazolteotl or Ixcuina. Rather than being portrayed as a "tortured" muse, as Dora Maar was in Picasso’s renowned Weeping woman of 1937, the female in Mestrom's work is figured as self-possessed and nurturing. Not only does she lactate, with breasts as fountains, her soft curved forms invite passers-by to gather around her – to sit and lay on her body. Mestrom's sculptures are intended to arrest viewers, even cause them to double-take, precisely because they deviate from the male-dominated history of public sculptures.