It’s all in the Genes : a painterly investigation of traditional female archetypes through the re-interpretation of historical narrative painting and symbolic characters to explore in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF), 2013
June 2013 Honours and Postgraduate Coursework (MFAD, MVC) Exhibition,
Plimsoll Gallery, Hunter Street, 21 June – 30 June 2013
This body of work is concerned with the anxiety, confusion and complexity of negotiating expectations of feminine identity through the uncanny world of IVF. Through paint I have created a fairy-tale world to facilitate access to an incredibly deep multilayered experience that transverses medical intervention, individual hopes and desires, as well as ethical implications.
Specifically, I am locating this project within the assisted reproductive technologies (ART). I am particularly interested in how the cultural significance of a woman’s identity and worth is intrinsically linked to her ability to procreate. With the onset of ART we now supposedly have new freedoms, although this is not a liberating process.
Throughout the western painting tradition there a two reoccurring depictions of women – the Madonna (the virgin) and the Magdalene (the whore). In re-focusing and reinterpreting these historical representations, I aim, through the use of characterisation and dark humour, to broaden the debate around the social and ethical implications of assisted reproductive technologies and female identity to highlight the conflicting and puzzling nature of these issues.