Ghada Amer

(Egypt, France, United States of America 1963 – )

I do not love you

Not on display
Further information

‘I want to show that women have been suppressed. Sewing helps me to articulate this problem.’

Ghada Amer was born in Cairo in 1963, moving to France with her family in 1974 and currently lives and works in New York. Her work examines issues surrounding gender, particularly the masculine vs feminine divide and also debates around high art vs craft. Amer has also examined other complex political issues dealing with hardcore pornography and religious fundamentalism in the context of themes such as love, sex and untenable desire. She often uses the visual language of fairy tales and polished pornographic images to convey such sentiments. In much of her work she explores embroidery, a skill which she learnt from her grandmother and mother, in an environment of what has been stereotypically and tediously been considered ‘women’s work’.

In this work, Amer has delicately thread into the canvas repeatedly a pirouetting ballerina in numerous stances, who sings out ‘I do not love you’ in text. The beauty of a delicate ballerina is portrayed who at the same time is empowered to speak out, publicly liberating her feelings.

Mixed media painting
acrylic, embroidery and gel on canvas
162.8 x 183.4 x 4.3 cm
Signature & date

Signed and dated on the overlap, "Ghada Amer 05".

Gift of Greg Woolley 2019. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Ghada Amer