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The Beauty and The Terror - new work 2022 

The title of this new body of work comes from Rilke's poem, Go to The Limits of Your Longing, where despite the beauty and the terror, he says "Just keep going. No feeling is final."

Knowing my own traumatic experiences, and the similar experiences of women; these paintings serve as a visual feminist manifesto for the survivor. Addressing both the terror of trauma, and the beauty of what helps you survive.

Blood from the past gives life to new bloom and the pre-pubescent girls are healed by their spirit-connection with nature. Their nudity is not sensationalised, nor does it invite or permit a gaze of concern, pity or objectification - they stand proud in their autonomy, devoid of the need of adult interference. They are, in their nakedness, in a place of total authenticity. Comforted, protected and given strength by the elements of nature that join her, the tale of survivorship is not a path walked alone.

My painting process employs performative practices through making magic rituals, I have sung to the canvases, mixed sacred ingredients in the paint and cried many tears whilst painting them. They are full of secret blessings and hidden messages in layers of oil paint.  


 

Go to the Limits of Your Longing by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy

 

Listen

 

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,

then walks with us silently out of the night.

 

These are the words we dimly hear:

 

You, sent out beyond your recall,

go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

 

Flare up like a flame

and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

Just keep going. No feeling is final.

Don’t let yourself lose me.

 

Nearby is the country they call life.

You will know it by its seriousness.

 

Give me your hand.

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