This work in this series questions the role of women and painting within the history of fine art practice. This work was inspired by the unwritten and unacknowledged histories of women whose stories lie hidden behind the great paintings of the past. It was also influenced by what I learned at school – craft and the female tradition of sewing and embroidery.
Traditional painting uses canvas or linen stretched over a wooden frame. Size is applied to tighten the canvas over the frame before it is primed and prepared as a surface for painting. In these works I have used a variety of untreated fabrics that are sewn together to form one cloth. Sometimes the fabrics are used garments displaying their lines and seams of wear, memory or sentiment while also being abstractions of line and colour in the context of a stretched and painted surface.
My concern is not with leaving the canvas bare of paint or representation, but with making the canvas out of fabrics which embody their own references and histories to the real and to the everyday. Selectively applying size to sections of surfaces creates a further inner tension on the surface.