Ceci Bowman is a feminist artist based in California. She designed our new And The March Goes On tee. We talked with Ceci about her inspirations, why she marches, and what makes her hopeful for the future.
What’s your background as an artist?
I studied art at UC Santa Cruz as an undergrad and I went on to become a set decorator for TV shows. I also worked in TV show art departments in LA until I moved back home to the Bay Area. There I began designing textiles. I worked with mostly children’s textiles to start and moved to bedding. Recently, I’ve been working on my own art and more political prints.
What inspires you to create?
Often it starts with an emotion or a movement or a memory. Textiles are typically what inspire me. I see a garment from my past that reminds me of what it was like to wear it or I see someone wearing something that sparks a memory and I create around that.
When did you originally create this design?
I created it before the Women’s March last year. In the week before the march, when everyone was furiously knitting hats, there were a lot of great visuals going around. People were working on art to represent a movement. I can’t knit, but I was really inspired by the movement and the textile of the knitting. There were incredible crafts going on. It’s what I wanted to see in that movement. I do a lot of dreaming in my work of what I want to see.
How do you think the movement and the pussy hat translate from 2017 to 2018?
I see it as a continuing fight; I see it as a continuing political statement; I see it as hope. I feel right now, especially with the #MeToo movement, it has become obvious that we need to keep our voices as women and keep fighting against the patriarchy. The hat and my art are a symbol that we need to keep moving. A positive thing we can do is get together and march again. We could stay at home and brood but it’s so much more motivating to get out and march.
Why do you march?
This year, I march to reinvigorate the movement against the current administration and the abhorrent policies that are out there. I march to keep our voice alive. When we get together as a community and march, we validate each other. It’s really important to see each other in person. It’s important to get together physically and stand with women of all different colors and all different experiences.
What’s one positive thing you’ve seen in the past year that gives you hope?
Women being really angry and strong. There is a conviction in all of us that we have to be active and political. We can’t be silent anymore. The light is shining on everything that has always been there.
Any parting thoughts?
The design that I made for last year’s march can still be a powerful symbol. It is supporting women’s rights and all political resistance right now. Art cannot be forgotten. We need visuals to keep us going. Whether a pussy hat or a t-shirt or a mural on a wall it’s important reminder of what is going on.