I feel for the first time this year that I have taken a big leap forward. I have been working hard on the neon pink paintings until I have built up a small collection. I was taken very much by what one of the lecturers said about the a4 paintings appearing to look like penguin books, because of their 2 inch mount on the MDF, as such adding to their presence as objects of value and intellectual discussion. Also, by having a number of works they appear to talk to each other.
So I have a number of A4 paintings using text, Feminism GSOH, Feminism LOL, Discourse is Ours, The F work (which I like because it has value as feminism but also a swear word, highlighting our embarrassment at ownership of it, and its issues.
The whole presentation of the works centres around the semiotic square, deeply philosophical and dealing with polar opposites, I have used it to address the issue of identity in its most simple of ways of presentation. 4 simple squares spray painted on with a quality masking tape have produced such a crisp clear line that I am really pleased with the process results, something I had not achieved in terms of finished with a low cost tape, but also, in terms of their intellectual, conceptual level, hot pink against blue, i.e. female/male and white against black to address race issues. So overall, its about indentity and I thought I great starting point to address issues of feminism now. I feel these paintings as a collection work for the various reasons:
Hot pink is so symbolically loaded with the issues of what is it to be a woman, historically and in the present day, but also, it is used with fully loaded irony with regard to our embarrassment with feminist issues which are relevant to everyone in society so hot pink is a metaphor for our rejection as a society of uncomfortable truths and our embarrassing of the sexual liberation in which we see ourselves as in control and embrace all that is pink and fluffy. A strange irony. So with all that deep symbolism, thankfully it is also striking in terms of presentation of the paintings. It grabs your attention.
The text paintings work as they are not totally obvious, you have to work to understand their messages.
The best combination, is the discussion between the paintings of the blue semiotic square and the Post Feminism work, which of course, is a loaded phrase because we call it post feminism but the uncomfortable truth is that the issues are still there, they have just moved on with modern day society issues.
So I have for the first time a body of work that has wit, makes the viewer work, a theme, my own voice and are visually attractive.
To move them forward I now want to do more pieces in a larger scale to push the same issues that work but to add in a figurative element beyond simple text paintings but I can see the most successful part of this has been the testing in the exhibition space as an assemblage and the conversation between the works that leaves the viewer searching and enjoying the twists and turns of the narration at whatever level of knowledge, critical or otherwise, they will get something from it that will leave them thinking.
So finally, I have a detailed direction, I now just need to refine it, push it more but I know I am onto something. A good day indeed. It has been painful to get to this point.