An article from the fall of 2013…

A Personal Message from Faye Hargate, a Leap/Conceive Artist

Feefer’s Primer, Faye Hargate


Faye Hargate in Royal Ann’s Preserve

Two years ago, I began creating work inspired by my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother had died earlier that year and I was left grandparentless which felt strange. As I dug into the lives of my grandmothers, hearing stories from my parents, remembering childhood memories of my own, a voice began to emerge. She was young, curious and burgeoning sexually. “Who is she? Why is she appearing now? What does a young girl reaching puberty have to do with my grandmothers?” As I worked more, she began to crystallize and confuse me at the same time. The grandma projects completed but the story of this young girl continued to haunt me. I was thinking: “What am I avoiding? Let’s go straight to the heart. Ok, Faye, you know who this girl is. She is you. She is Feefer.” My childhood nickname was Feefer, along with Feef, Fifi, Fifilaroo, Fifila-fayela, Fayla, Faylafou fou, etc.

A semi-autobiographical piece, Feefer’s Primer precariously sits on the precipice of truth, heightened reality and imagination; parsing that out has been the hardest for me. Some of it is very true while other parts are complete lies. I’m using my life as inspiration to explore female sexuality, imagination, societal stereotypes and question if our past – made up or true – really molds us into who we are today. What is our agency and how do we find wholeness when we don’t fit this mold?

Feefer’s sources:

Books: Lolita, The War of Art, Unhooked, Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation and Fast Girls: Teenage Tribes and The Myth of the Teenage Slut.
Music: Lera Auerbach – I recently saw Lera Auberbach play at CIM and downloaded her “Preludes and Dreams.” It’s comprised of these 45 second to 5 minute songs that stand on their own, but can combine to tell a fuller, richer story.

Faye Hargate
Education Associate, Leap/Conceive Artist