The Vocabulary Series is based on my interest in hysteria, a disease that many women were diagnosed with in the 1800’s. There are many theories about exactly what hysteria was and why it afflicted women. The aspect of hysteria that has most fascinated me is how the medical profession used it to restrict women who did not follow the “rules” of society. Women were expected to blend in. In these pieces I use intricately drawn patterns to suggest wallpaper, embroidery or domestic crafts. Against these lovely, quiet backgrounds, I juxtapose a figure or part of the body in a tense or distressed pose with hair in disarray or toes flexed. One important aspect of the work is the obsessive nature of the act of drawing, using a 2B pencil to describe every detail. The tedious act of drawing in this way mimics the restrictive time spent on domestic crafts in the 1800's.