Self-Portraits

Anti-Selfie

Anti-Selfie is a commentary on narcissistic selfie culture.

Millions of selfies are taken every minute, checked and discarded (a throwaway culture), as we strive to match standards of “beauty” with sucked-in cheeks, trout-pout lips and angled from above to hide our chins. This piece is based on an “ugly” photo of me where I puffed up my cheeks, squeezed down my chins and roared a protest at the over-sexualised yet fakely demure visual, online litany of me-me-me!

Whereas a selfie is taken and disposed of within seconds, this piece contrarily took several weeks to complete.

Breaking free

Breaking free is an acrylic painting that explored my own feelings around being restrained by the past. Initially it was a static statement, which then became more dynamic, vibrating with the potential of her next move being one of breaking the chains.

Her femininity (the source of her power and perhaps the reason for her prison?) is highlighted through the conceptualised clitoris and vagina. Perhaps she is breaking free to finally experience pleasure in her own body and being.

Self-portrait with Tux silencing me

Self-portrait with Tux silencing me was an elegy to the loss of my dear rat, Tux – also know as Tux Lux for the brightness she brought to my life.

She was exceptionally expressive and communicative. This piece is based around a Zoom call I had with my vet. Tux was in my arms as I was talking to him. Suddenly, she stood up in my hands and gently placed both front paws on my lips, silencing me. It was like the world stopped: such an incredibly intimate moment of conversation with her. She wanted me to stop talking…

It was a painful process creating this mixed media piece (collage, acrylic and pen). Working on it was my time to grieve her.

Brux in Peace, Tux Lux.

MaVie (in yellow)

MaVie (in yellow) is a breakthrough piece for me. After a few decades of not having painted with acrylics (the last time being a GSCE in art!), I dove in and created this … I was surprised in the end to see myself looking back at me,

I began the piece with hesitancy … this is depicted in the yellow background. In MaVie’s Theory of Art, the first rubric is:
“If in doubt, add yellow!”
From there on it went swimmingly! I had such enjoyment from applying the paints with spatulas, knives and other tools (also never tried before!).

As someone with an often overly cautious nature, this piece shows that, given time, the shell will crack and a bird (or reptile!) shall emerge … in glorious yellow!

It is interesting to ponder how I view myself both from within, but also from how I assume others perceive me (such a thorny issue!!).

This is me in a happy place, ensconced and encircled by bamboo.

Often at night, or on a breezy day, I will stand within its arms and hold onto two stalks… I then close my eyes, loosen my knees into QiGong first pose, and sway with the bamboo.

It is an incredible experience of oneness with nature … a tapping into my own innate Natural Nature … that part which is often overlayered and hidden by insecurities, fear and false beliefs.

So this is one aspect of MaVie.

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