Life 7 – On The Shelf
177cms x 118cms
I shall probably fiddle a bit more but in essence Life 7 is now finished.
evening primrose oil
Skulls are a universal symbol of death and this together with the tablets mark the length and passing of life.
The eggs, are a symbol of birth and fertility.
The books represent human knowledge. My sketchbook is there of course, as is a Germain Greer. The piece is about menopause so I felt “The Change” had earned a place!
The fabric is an expensive commercial piece. That and the teapot and cup and saucer represent life’s luxuries and indulgences.
There is a trug with a rose. Pinky roses mean desire, passion, joy of life, youth, energy- which is perhaps why the bloom is fading and drooping slightly. Burgundy roses mean unconscious beauty.
The pearls are for femininity. The tablets as well as indicating mortality, show a degree of control over life.
There’s also an electric hand held fan. I expect you can work out the symbolism of that one yourself!!
Well, why not naked? Life painting and drawing is an acceptable part of fine art, and museums and art galleries around the world are of full of naked bodies painted by some of the world’s best painters. The Vatican for example is full of the works of Michelangelo and Raphael. From the artists point of view, it’s a difficult exercise to paint the human body with its complex musculature, foreshortenings, proportions, and subtle colourings, and is a fascinating challenge to try and get right.
When we wear clothes we do so not only for protection and modesty, but also as a statement about ourselves. We use clothes to show our ethnicity, our wish to belong to a certain group or tribe, (Goths, Hells Angels, or maybe just in admiration of a pop group, celebrity, or athlete) We have developed a constantly changing fashion, and some of us have a need to be in the latest colour or style. We use clothes to attract the opposite sex, or make ourselves look interesting. Sometimes the opposite applies and we may choose to dress in a conservative way to avoid attraction or indeed repel others. We may wish to say that we have reached a certain standard in life and are beyond frippery and are hard working and sensible. Reliable. We wear clothes as a uniform of age.
I wish to take away all those assumptions and prejudices and look at the human being underneath in it’s true and natural state. Each quilt tells a story about the person depicted, and the text is blistered and ingrained into the skin, and then painted over with acrylics. The person and the story become one. The text is intentionally difficult to read, but not impossible. I do not want the image to exist only to illustrate the text, but to be a subtle extra layer; one you have to look for. I feel as if I am whispering my story to you and not shouting.