PAINTING TWICE PRAXIS ARTSPACE
Nov - Dec 2016
In general, my work deals with rites of passage, with ritual and expectation. It is a conversation with the intimate personal experience of these issues and the unspoken feelings we harbour as a reaction to them.
This work with its umbilical linearity stretched from childhood to old age questions the how and why of some of life’s expectations for women as seen through the commercial lens of the Barbie doll.
Pervasive and ubiquitous in western culture since her birth in 1959 she begins for each new young girl as a princess, rapidly metamorphosing into a sexy goddess throughout the remainder of her life as career woman, homemaker and adventurer. There is nothing after sexy goddess.
In this piece paint suffuses the work, whilst never dominant it acts as the splash of red lipstick that catches the eye and piques the interest. The line might be life itself, the inevitable expectations, the inevitable washing, the work of living. The inevitable expectation of Mondays, washing day, working day; cyclic, demanding. You could hang your own pictures on a line like this.
The earliest clothes in this work date from the early 60’s. The snapshots are visual echoes of the lived reality, of dreams and desires held, resolved or not.
In all this the dilemma is to understand whose expectations I’m reacting to; how and where did they enter my life? Why do I give them so much weight, who’s life am I living, and for whom?
I work in charcoal, but in ‘Mondays’ the first figure is immersed in, washed in, pervaded by monochromatic colour that informs the entire piece providing a background for interpretation. Subsequently I use colour as if it might be the memory of a scent, or like lipstick, a small lure in a sea of grey. The hint of an idea, the fleeting suggestion of desire cast upon the oceans of expectation.