I've been working really hard recently on work for an exhibition at ShOp on Christmas steps in Bristol.
One of the other artists suggested the theme 'Treasure' which I found really inspiring. I decided to look at personal keepsakes or possessions by exploring the treasures of three inspirational women. I used my Frida portrait that everyone has seen already but I accompanied it with a sort of 'list' of her treasures, each drawing has a special significance and I'm working on a key to accompany it.
Those of you who know anything about Frida Kahlo will recognise the pelvis and foetus (as a young woman Kahlo was in tram accident in which she was impaled through her vagina with a metal spike. Unsurprisingly, she was unable to carry a baby to term and had several miscarriages) The other objects include pictures of her husband, a thorn necklace, a mexican 'day of the dead' marigold and a milagros of her leg. I used an opaque paint on most of the objects, Kahlo's work was so rich and vibrant, I adapted my way of working to reflect hers.
One of the things about Kahlo that I find so intriguing is how she was talented and passionate, yet volatile, and to an extent damaged. I began to research other women who have incredible talent but who also experienced pain and tragedy. After looking at an artist it seemed natural to choose a writer and musician in attempt to cover the main cultural arts. I eventually settled on Edith Piaf, because she has a very iconic look and lived an incredible life. I used a less precise a line and used crayon to create a more chaotic feeling, I kept the colour palette more muted, I repeatedly used the dark red you can see below as I felt it best reflected her personality.
I chose Sylvia Plath as I have been fascinated with her life for years now. In the portrait you can see I kept the drawing neater and simpler; I used watercolour to apply 'washed out' colurs to reflect her emotional state. I was trying to show how emotionally flat and detatched depression can make you feel.
The exhibition is at the 'ShOp' on Christmas Steps in Bristol (it looks like a vintage shop from the outside- the gallery is through a little door) its on from 11am until 7pm, Monday to Saturday until the 9th of December. Prints of my work can be ordered from here or from the venue, the portraits are priced at £15 (A4 size) and the larger pieces are £25(A3 size) for a high quality, limited edition, giclee print. Some of other artists are selling prints to take away in the shop.
The other artists are:
Come and have a look!