In my last post I spoke a bit about the themes which drive my work. I realise these have been less explicit of late than when I started out with my blog.
I think it is about time that I revisited them, not least for my own benefit. Over the last couple of years these themes have been no less important to me, but have influenced as a gently embracing undercurrent rather than as a forceful driving energy.
I recognise I lose sight of the bigger picture so often and need to take time to re-evaluate and remember.
When I started writing this blog I was motivated by a passion to communicate the meaning behind my abstract work. "Acceptable Flesh" as a concept was the focus I needed to make a body of work which I planned to exhibit as an immersive experience and as such, an entity in itself. In reality, every piece I make mines the same seam of inspiration.
"Acceptable Flesh" is primarily about my struggle to deal with my socially unacceptable body. I have neither been sublimely delicate and waiflike, nor seen myself as lusciously buxom and desirable. I am, and always have been fat, from babyhood to the post-menopausal present day.
It is really important though that this statement is not seen as an invitation to overweight, middle-aged women to unite and wallow in the injustices of unfair and unkind treatment by society.
Rather what I want is for all of us, irrespective of gender, age, race or size, to question a society that favours the pursuit of artificial, flawless youthfulness, when it is an insidious illusion, which damages, devalues and disables.
In the context of the power and drive of the capitalist market to sell us a vacuous myth, the Feminist declaration of "the personal is political" is no less relevant today.
Feeling "less than" and being regarded as unacceptable is just not good enough.
And these feelings are big and they are overwhelming. Abstraction offers me the means of expressing them in a much more immediate and intuitive way.
Perhaps that notion is itself worthy of a future blog post.
But let me say here - with some force - "it's not just some pretty lines and colours!"
"Parts" by Maggie Ayres