My first material practice project involved creating a painting on a small shaped board using priming and under-painting techniques for a professional finish. My final piece was cut using a bandsaw in the shape of the female reproductive organs and painted with tigers and a single blue female form following the basic layout of the uterus and ovaries. Under-painting allowed me to add depth and structure, give defined edges and a more rounded feel, I used layers in order to round the bodies of the animals and figure.
My initial design was more complex but focused on encompassing a sense of ferocity and female power and struggle. I wanted to create something with a fantastical, symbolic narrative. I was inspired in part by the work of Mequitta Ahuja which I saw not too long ago for the first time in the Champagne Life exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.
Pictured above, her painting ‘Stick Stack’ shows strong powerful mythic women in fantastic settings built up in layers and layers of print and paint. Her works are part self-portraiture and part mythological, the ferocity and strength of them is really striking. I was oddly drawn to her choice of the colour blue in representing the female figure. In my work I felt the same blue perfectly resonated in the deep red of the uterus in which my figure was place. Red, I feel is symbolic when depicting femininity, the colour of menstruation it’s been used excessively in art tied to womanhood and female identity so definitely had a place in this experimental work.
My final piece put into practice a variety of new skills that gave my painting a more professional and polished feel and I was fairly proud of the result, I certainly feel these new techniques are something to practice and refine further and there’s definitely space to build on these initial concepts when thinking about working towards my Inside/Outside brief.