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Medea / Alice at War

This section examines trauma, consent, rape; mental health, and more specifically, the lives of two women. Initially examining family photographs from the 1920s until the 1960s, the focus is the attempt to understand, and narrate, the lives of my late paternal grandmother and her daughter, Alice, using Greek mythology as a platform not only to display these complex, familiar characters; but also, to rethink specific narratives within ancient mythology, and in particular the narratives of women, and what is really happening in their lives.

Alice at War Oil on canvas, 30 x 40

Alice at War, a painting part of the Medea series, examines consent, fear and childhood trauma. The children in this painting are living through a war. Each understands that to some degree they are less important to something greater and more frightening, a concern that keeps their complicated parents constantly preoccupied. The deliberately joyful, excited expressions of the children, heightened by dark tones, seeks to support their expressions, as if they wish to celebrate something with the viewer, a moment when they can be children, when someone acknowledges them. The strange monotony of the colours is intentional. I wanted to heighten this sense of something that never ends: the sensation that fear and emotional pain create, the experience of trauma, somehow find themselves represented in these children as they try to be young and happy, and, the heaviness of the colours that paste them to the canvas.