For my time in the project space, I firstly took my painting down that I have been working on since the beginning of the course. I wanted to take this opportunity to have a new space to work in, hoping for a fresh take.
I found it very beneficial to have the space to work and take the time to stand back and see the painting from a distance.
I also took the portrait into the sculpture hall at intervals to see how it worked in a large gallery space.
Now that I have finished the portrait, I still feel that there is something missing and that the work as a whole is incomplete. The feedback I received from tutors and other students was that it is bland and dead. It is a portrait and nothing more. I agree with this, and feel similarly that there could be more to it.
I have recently been reading a book: “The Ruxton Murders” which I have found extremely interesting and educational. The book is a detailed account of what has been deemed “the first modern murder”, as it was the first time that several forensic science techniques were used to successfully solve a murder case. One particular technique that interested me was that they were able to identify the body of Bella Ruxton by superimposing a photograph of her skull over the most recent photograph of her:
They had to do this in order to identify her as she had been so grossly mutilated by her murderer – her husband, Buck Ruxton. It is unfathomable that your life partner would be capable of doing such a heinous act.
Since reading the book, I am now considering working with UV paint and lights, to recreate this image of Bella on my own portrait. Exploring my theme of violence against women even further whilst educating viewers. I find reality more hard hitting in these cases than a figment of my imagination.
Considering this development, this work remains very much in progress.
Recent events have caused me to become ever more concerned with violence shown towards women. In public and also in their own homes.
Links above are to two current stories: the murders of two women in London, Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. Both women were approached while alone and both ended up killed.
From Everard’s Vigil:
Ms Harman said women’s confidence in the police “will have been shattered”.
I find a relation between the deep yet unseen connection that women share with each other; and the hidden underground network of fungi that links them all to each other from afar. I want to try and show this relation through my art within this project.