Posted on October 22, 2014
This is my painting in the Emerging Artist Show.
As I have travelled through my life loving the arts and being of the feminine gender. I have gravitated towards the women who I could relate to on many levels. In art history Mary Magdalene has been glorified not vilified in exquisite and thought provoking ways. Mary is portrayed in two distinct ways: before her conversion she is richly attired, jewelled and gloved, a figure of profane love. Then as the penitent Mary, she wears a simple cloak or is often naked, covered only by her long hair. She has a skull in some of these penitent paintings. Her story is not about her but about us and how much were willing to accept a person for their mistakes, especially in a women.
The word Vanitas meaning vanity and is a type of still-life painting that flourished in the Netherlands from 1620-1650. The Vanitas painting makes the viewer think about death and how quickly life goes by. The skulls symbolic powers have permeated the human’s species art practise as we spin through time and in our contemporary world baby boy toddlers wear them on their clothes. Teenagers wear them as they transform from kid to adult and old rockers wear them with pride for their passage through the school of hard knocks.
This twisted twin self portrait in bra’s and jeans was painted at the mid point of life for me at 45 years of age. I looked back over the dead past contemplating my life choices and the other me looking forward at my mortality and my cultures image of old women. I reflected on my own death and the strength of Mary Magdalene as the imperfect saint who was embraced for all that she was and learnt from her mistakes.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
― Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night