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June Collie and the Construction of Beauty

By Letitia M Pratt, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation. “Collie allows viewers to define their own beauty in interactive installation, Dollhouse.” There is one thing that is absolute about June Collie’s work: it makes me happy. It’s layered, bold tapestries and lush, bright color transports me to my own imagined boudoir, where I languidly rub scented oils on my skin as I lay among soft silk pillows. I so easily see myself in her work. The bodies she paints are like mine, my mother’s, my grandmothers’ – they are familiar, easy-going, and articulate beauty with a confidence that I have seen only in generations of unencumbered women. Her work captures this self-love, the sweetness of brushing your hair as you run bathwater, or the pleasure of listening to your favorite record as you drift off to sleep.  Her work reminds viewers that they are the subject of their own desires and that their lives and bodies are beautiful in and of itself. Her most recent interactive installation, Dollhouse, created for the D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s pARTicipate!, does just this: it encourages the viewer to celebrate the beauty they find within themselves.

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