The Judging

Oil on canvas
100cm x 100cm
January, 2021

 

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Mother-Angels
Mother-Angels
Mother-Angels
Mother-Angels

Oil on canvas
100cm x 100cm
January, 2021

This oil painting on canvas features a group of haughty looking figures looking down with enlarged distorted pointing hands and faces over a woman with a baby. The smaller, kneeling woman holds her baby up for inspection and judgment, she is naked and unprotected against them. The figures are outlined in red to show they hold the power in the situation, and all of the figures form an inverted triangle; the opposite of the stable, comfortable triangular maternal compositional device. The setting is dark and nightmarish, the deep blue contrasts against licks of orange (sunset or flame) behind the large arc of standing figures.

Suggestions of houses form a zig zag pattern to echo the figures painting hands, and amongst the houses are suggestions of foetuses. The background is formed from drips of paint, as well as thicker, expressive paint strokes in the sky. These marks suggest the ephemeral quality of a dream or hallucination, in fact this painting is about a dream I had whilst suffering from postnatal depression as a first time young mother who felt judged and inadequate by society and its standards and ideals of motherhood. The houses represent uniformity and conformity, each house has two eye-like windows to suggest how people watch you.

This painting comments on how suburbia makes rules and creates alliances and networks that can be constructive for a functioning society, but can be destructive to the individual, particularly the vulnerable individual, in this case a young woman with a baby.

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