and light she lingers as your hostess 2017
These new paintings are informed by my deep relationship with art history, my love of storytelling, and an ongoing struggle to find a balance between what is described and implied in the painted medium. My choice to focus on interiors is autobiographical but in this way, it is important to state there are no facts, only subjective truths informed by my experiences.
What if I told you I haven't slept in 4 years – not really slept? What if I told you that having children has exposed an idealized maternal inheritance of not just my mothers and grandmothers, but role models and archetypes too? Becoming a wife and mother has been transformative, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. It all seems a little strange, like role playing, and I don't align effortlessly with my matriarchal lineage. I see many contradictions; the domestic space is at the same time a site of female repression, colonial oppression, and warm familiarity. And though I feel dislocated in my own domestic space at times, I am not in despair. Rather, it is an uncanny feeling I experience and I have always been drawn to a good mystery. In moments of stillness I find myself daydreaming of my childhood; watching the table being set, beds being made, standing at the edge of a room only for guests. Lack of sleep is an effective tool of timelessness.
Although days blend into to each other in an endless motion of banal activities, I have never been more aware of how light and dark become demarcations of time. That light is a comfort and a hostess in a domestic space; it lingers, it reflects, it affects, it bends around edges. This is a perfect place and time for visual poetry, a time when I am more aware of the spaces in-between complex narratives. My subjective truths are sensory, like textures, sounds, and sights; they are what my memory retains. When painting an interior, I find myself transported to my childhood, to my mother's childhood, to my grandmother's, to a stranger's childhood, encompassing other memories as my own; a collective sensory debt.
With all senses, there is an odd and personal hierarchy of specificity; like fingers in shag carpet or the light seeping through curtains, the rest of the narrative, beyond perception on stage left or right. I attempt to reveal that hierarchy in my formal compositions through choice of colour and paint application. I paint scenes that have multilayered narratives informed by idealism and nostalgia found in second hand books, magazines and photographic documents – nostalgia for something that never was. I can't help but feel like Alice in the opening chapter of “Through the Looking Glass”, looking at the reflected room in the mirror. I am at once longing to belong in the present room and conscious of how it is just an illusion, and if I were to return to wonderland it too would not be as I imagined it to be.