Malcolm Smith

Copyright 2007-2012
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Semi Precious
Newsagency Gallery
July - August 2012

Work for the group Exhibition "Semi Precious" at Newsagency Gallery in Stanmore, (Sydney) Australia.

Given the theme of the show, I decided to explore the idea of the 'Sissy', who is a bit precious, but has his own strategies for getting by in life. Its a matter close to my heart, having also been a bit of a sissy when I was a kid.

Actually in the process of making these works I did some research. 'Sissy' was a term invented in America around the early 1900's. In Britain and Europe children were brought up to be androgenous until puberty. They were encouraged to be polite and well mannered. American weekly magazines poured scorn on those British children, claiming it was 'natural' for boys to climb trees and be a bit naughty (but not girls of course).

It also meant that those same weekly magazines could advertise clothes for boys and different clothes for girls, segmenting the market and in the process generating increased revenue.