The title of this series is borrowed from the first line in the US Constitution.
Recent violence aimed at women's health care providers and actions by politicians, leave no doubt that a womans right to choose is still under assault and that negative attitudes toward basic health care, like birth control, stubbornly persist. I feel a renewed urgency to defend Pro-Choice and Access to womens services.
In 1989 I made my first art piece about reproductive rights. Back then, I never would have believed that 25 years later women would have less access to abortion and other critical health services.
I have created several limited edition series of Pred-à-Porter purses. Each unique piece is made using a vintage handbag from the 1950s or 60s. I chose purses as my canvas as a way to marry the politically-charged messages of the Pro-Choice movement with representations of women's modern economic power and the possibilities for change that come with it. For me, the use of purses from the mid-twentieth century also calls back to that critical era and reminds us how much has changed and, more importantly, how much has not.
The text on each purse is created using Electroluminescent wire that is lit up using batteries and a small electronic driver that can be set to constant or flash mode. The purses are meant to be carried and serve as small-scale political billboards.
Finally, this body of work is rooted in my formative years growing up in Berkeley, California during the 70s, where I was exposed to the womens movement. It is also a continued homage to my father, Allan Pred who inspired the feminist in me at an early age.