Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Spring and Summer

The small painting, Maid of Honour (final image below) made for last year’s 100 Faces exhibition at Playing in the Attic, was originally intended to serve as a study for Spring and Summer, the work-in-progress featured here. The study was sold during the run of the exhibition, but fortunately I had documented the work and was able to use the photograph for reference. The tattoo in the original work is based on selected motifs in Maids of Honour, an embroidery designed by May Morris

The scaled up painting allowed for the incorporation of considerably more detail and so I turned to Spring and Summer, 1900-95, May Morris’s larger, more complex embroidery panel (reproduced below), as the point of departure for the tattooed face. The completed work will be part of Decorated Women, a solo exhibition at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne, in December 2024. 

Tattoos have been a recurring theme in my work since the mid-1990s, beginning with the Tattooed Faces and Figures series of linocuts and drawings. In the coming weeks, I’ll share some news about some of those too. Suffice it to say at this point, it’s beginning to feel as if I’ve come full circle. 

Images from top: 
Spring and Summer (progress view), 2024, acrylic on canvas board, 30 x 30 cm;
Work in progress with primary references;
Spring and Summer 1900-95, embroidered panel by May Morris;
Maid of Honour, 2023, acrylic on canvas board, 10 x 10 cm.