As a reflection of my own military experience, I explore the juxtaposition of US service women in combat with the domestic and decorative nature of heirloom tableware. Using the notion of “serving” I create objects associated with serving a meal depicting military women serving their country. Female soldiers in a war torn landscape are surrounded, not by enemies but by traditional floral borders embellished with gold and soft feminine colors. By combining military iconography with traditional floral elements and botanical patterns I subvert the once benign decoration while creating a personal narrative and contemporary social commentary. Through non-traditional imagery I seek to challenge the entrenched ideas of domesticity and gender roles while exposing the social and cultural issues faced by military women. This work encourages dialogue about pervasive social dynamics that prevent something perceived as violent and destructive from also being considered beautiful.
— Jessica Putnam-Phillips