Specialising in oil painting and photography, my practice is an ongoing investigation into portraiture and its relationship to representation. There is a concern within my current practice with the representation of women and the ongoing trouble with notions of beauty and the demands it has on a women’s sense of self. I was dissatisfied with seeing an overwhelming lack of diversity within painting history, especially when approaching aging femininity and women of colour. By painting these women, I wanted to present my subjects in opposition to negative societal themes, showcase these women for their beauty and normalise their representation.
The neck is an important motif in my practice as I explore how it represents the voice of the subject. Typically, being close to this section of the human body is when one is in a state of comfort, closeness or intimacy with that person. By focusing on this I want my viewers to examine the dynamics between the subjects in relation to themselves and view these women without the usual intimacy that comes from eye contact between viewer and subject.
My subjects are presented in an instance of time; I enable this by photographing my models in moments of intimacy and conversation to keep an element of authenticity to their interactions. By painting these subjects, I am re-writing the narrative of women in paint to give authority to those underrepresented in a practice that has historically removed them from the canvas.