Virginia Bodman

 

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Paintings on this page were shown in:

LIGHT/DARK/DARK/LIGHT,

Globe Gallery, 57 Blandford Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne,

19.9.2014 – 31.10.2014

Works from this series were also shown in:
 
Malerie, Newbridge Project Space, Newcastle and Transition Gallery, London, 2012 
 
The work considers and investigates the human need to escape, albeit on a temporary basis from paramount reality, see Escape Attempts, Cohen, S & Taylor, L, (1976). A troupe of female figures, (first encountered in PALCE), escape from the vicissitudes of daily life, adopting personas borrowed from C17, 18 & 19th Spanish, Persian and French paintings and inhabit new or different pictorial spaces in which responses to living in a contemporary patriarchal society can be safely acted out. Playfully employing a range of making strategies and using a mix of representational and abstract forms, referencing a wide range of sources from the histories of painting from Abstract Expressionism to devotional imagery. 

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Headless, 2014, (woodcut), like its predecessor series of paintings that includes Miss Perfect, 2009, Headless, 2012-14  and Twins, 2012, is based on a 2007 M&S advert for women’s clothing featuring the ever-youthful Twiggy. The restricting and intransigent medium of woodcut presents further opportunities to critique the pictorial tradition of siting the feminine in a natural context. Images of woman as nature  - irrational, unruly, controllable, were historically directed towards the male gaze.  

In the advert ‘woman as nature’ has been knowingly restaged for a contemporary, essentially female urban audience to suggest an eternally youthful, self-renewing, ‘natural’ femininity. Layering, common to both painting and printmaking, can be used to reveal or conceal - unstable or shifting under-layers of colour can undermine the graphic image causing the viewer to question what’s really on offer.

 

© the artist and the authors

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