Power of the Purse
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is featuring one of Pred's purses in its current exhibition "Bags: Inside Out."
Her purses have been carried on the red carpet at the Oscars, and have been featured in Vanity Fair Magazine, Style Magazine, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Vogue.com, and MsMagazine.com.
Each piece is unique in that it is made with individually-sourced vintage purses. In addition, I make only 10 purses of each word or phrase.
I chose purses as my canvas as a way to marry the powerful, politically-charged language of today's resistance 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 in the women's movement and reminds us how much power we have to effect meaningful change.
The Power of the Purse title is inspired by the 2017 passage of Republican tax reform and its far-reaching negative implications for women’s rights. It is also a call to action for women, and men, to redouble their efforts to fight the growth of moneyed privileged and show up at the polls.
The purses are meant to be carried and serve as small-scale political billboards. The text on each purse is created using an Electroluminescent wire that is lit up using batteries and a small electronic driver that can be set to constant or flash mode.
This body of work is rooted in my formative years growing up in Berkeley, California, during the 70's, where I was exposed to the women’s movement. It is also a continued homage to my father, Allan Pred, who inspired the feminist in me at an early age.
Michele Pred 2019