“We are the bird’s egg. Bird’s eggs, flowers, butterflies, rabbits, cows, sheep; we are caterpillars; we are leaves of Ivy and sprigs of wallflower. We are women. We rise from the wave. We are gazelle and doe, elephant and whale, lilies and roses and peach, we are air, we are flame, we are oyster and pearl, we are girls. We are woman and nature. And he says he cannot hear us speak.
But we hear.” – Susan Griffin
My practice considers the physical, cultural and spiritual connections that exist between women and animals. Originated from an interest in the animal’s symbolic properties, these notions are contextualized by feminist ideas which consider the mutual treatment of women and animals. How both are products of consumerism within a patriarchal society; women for sex and animals for meat.
I am Interested in the way women and animals are presented as archetypal characters in literature, such as the “Goddess” or the “Wild Woman”, and the way the animal is often used in connection with these stereotypes. Therefore, my paintings are heavily inspired by feminist literature and poetry. The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter massively influenced the imagery of my paintings, as her use of the hybrid body in the tale The Tiger’s Bride; of a woman metamorphosing into the tiger became a visual analogy from which I could use to communicate my idea of animal and female being connected both psychically and spiritually.
Metamorphosing into the animal form is a repeated concept within Pre- Christian Goddess worshiping religions. Therefore, the “animal” or “woman” within my paintings are not literal depictions but symbolic representations of Goddesses. Hence, my figures are depicted intimately connected, often physically interacting, or merging together into one abstracted form to reaffirm this sense of the body in a state of transition. My paintings ultimately aim to re-configure Goddess imagery in a post-modern context, as icons of female empowerment, reminding the viewer of a historical period in which the female/animal connection was a notion of power rather than perceived as primitive, wild, and impure.
University of Brighton
BA (hons) Degree in Fine Art Painting
NEW College Pontefract Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Scholarship Winner for the highest academic score achieved in second year on Fine Art Painting at University of Brighton 2016/2017.
Nominated for an award for top achieving student in Fine Art A level class at NEW College Pontefract
A Level grades within the top ten highest academically achieving students to graduate NEW College in 2014