Linda Wallace is an artist and feminist. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art with a 4-year diploma and then a BFA (both with distinction). Her background prior to being a full-time artist: RN (off and on) in multiple disciplines, but most recently as a charge nurse for Canadian Blood Services; Entrepreneur and businesswoman in the Canadian High Arctic Islands, working with mining/oil and gas companies, adventurers, National Geographic, scientists and royalty; Traveller: lived aboard and cruised in 41' sailboat, vagabonded through Europe and North America. Currrently lives on Vancouver Island, with her husband and partner of 30 years, and divides her time between research, advocacy and the creation of work based in issues of bioethics, biotechnology and women's health.
Looking back through history, gazing across cultures, infertility has always marginalized women. It still does. My work began by exploring issues of female infertility within my own first world culture and has evolved as I became more deeply engaged in the quandary of defining humanity and its future. Robotics and stem cells. Cloning. Chimeras. Pandora's box.
Scientific knowledge is expanding exponentially while I create art in a medium steeped in time. Working alone at the loom, weaving symbolic imagery line by line, the process promotes additional connections of time, labour, and thought. The hand of the artist is evident and unavoidable. Cloth carries signifiers of home and comfort -- and is used, cross-culturally, to visually create symbolic importance at life's passages: birth, puberty, marriage, birth, death. Cloth is used to denote individuality or membership in a societal group. Tapestry carries European historical connections to worlds of power and influence. These voices add to the chorus of whispered dialogue.
The more I know, the more I read , the more worried I become. Despite this worry, I am also intrigued, excited and fascinated. Immortality is being discussed by apparently rational scientists. If we are not predestined to age and die, will fertility still matter? If women's bodies are no longer necessary for the gestation of new life, what value will women have in traditional, patriarchal societies? Will those lining up to participate in genetic enhancement or blending human with machine continue to extend compassion to those dying of malnutrition, malaria, HIV? What of war, aggression, the market economy in this new chimeric world?
Feminist and artist. Filled with questions, worry and hope.> return to main page
Visions of Dystopia and Utopia is affiliated with the World Transhumanist Association (WTA).
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