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Basement Babe III

Sarah Blanchette


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Basement Babe III

Through the vehicle of voyeuristic desire, the artist creates glimpses into a basement world, where her secret activities as a sexual being are on full display. The viewer peers through a velvet window at a velvet woman (the artist) performing a self-gratifying activity involving sexualized self-portraiture. The basement, in this world, serves as an arena for experimentation and secret-holding that the artist requires for uninhibited expression. Title Origin: ‘Basement Windows’ is a reconstruction of what it would look like to peer into the Basement Babe’s basement window.

45"H × 45"W × 3.5"D
Wall Hangings
Digital images printed on velvet, foam, thread, and wood
Artwork can be gently dusted. Should not be displayed or stored near wet or damp elements.


As a pre-teen, I formed my IRL identity alongside my online persona. For a while, these two girls grew parallel to one another. When the IRL girl started changing physically and becoming unhappy with her body, the online persona could hold on to the youthful body and image that she started with. It was then that the fragmented woman started to form. The work that I create is a repeated exercise of trying to bring these two women together to establish new common ground. Thus far, that task has been immense. I expect that these women will someday collide again, but for now, the closest they get to each other is within the work. The works that I create always begin from an archive. Whether that is a quick 5-minute photoshoot with myself and my iPhone or a trip to my family film archive, I always start within a series of images and work to exhaust it entirely before moving on. Having the power to control which imagery is implemented in the work is the nearest feeling that I can find to managing my image. In the digital world of the internet, we sacrifice all aspects of control. I have the most power in my world. The techniques used are often rooted in quilting. This specifically references the act of quilting -sewing layers together and creating repetitive shapes. The broader history of quilting involves women working collectively on projects. My practice is intentionally a solo effort intended for meditation.

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