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Unveiling Aphrodite 1999
Woven tapestry Size -- 100 x 70 cm. (irreg.)
Unveiling Aphrodite is based on the 5 th century B.C. sculpture from the Ludovisi Throne. Her figure is moulded through carved clinging cloth or "draperie mouillee", a device used by sculptors of the time to reveal the contours of the female body despite convention requiring that it be covered.
Revealing Grace is a depiction of the central figure of The Three Graces from the Botticelli painting, Primavera (1478) . The sense of touch is integral to the work - the feel of fabric on the body - its soft, transparent swirl around arms and legs as it enhances and reflects the sensuality of her movement.
My next work, Uniting Venus and Mars , deals more with cloth as subject and is drawn from a reconfiguration of Botticelli's painting Mars and Venus. (1485). Bound by a cascade of cloth, one body becomes part of the other through folds that evoke both the physicality and emotionalism of their connection. The female and male principles become symbolically united.
The fourth tapestry and drawing, Embracing Atalanta are based on the painting Atalanta and Hippomenes (1618) by Baroque painter Guido Reni and extend the theme that informs Uniting Venus and Mars. The floating fabric enhances the sense of attachment between the two figures - this time light and transparent, celebrating the airy, acrobatic reconfiguration of the original. Atalanta's embrace is manifested in the billows of encircling fabric emanating from Hippomenes' form and from her own garment.
The fifth tapestry, Arousing Psyche , references the Neo Classical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822), drawing on his sculpture Psyche awakened by Cupid's Kiss (1793). As the body awakes to its sensual potential the mind is stirred to imaginative heights. Psyche's covering falls away in the ecstasy of the anticipated moment with her unknown lover.
The last work, Liberating Psyche is derived from a twentieth century photograph of the actress Geraldine Chaplin wearing a Fortuny gown and running towards the camera whilst filming Mama Cumple 100 Anos in 1979. Her angular form, as revealed by the robe is completely reminiscent of the fifth century BC Aphrodite, the pressure of her breasts and hip bones on the soft silk form the same revelatory undulations, and the striations of the pleated fabric make the same indented pattern along the shape of her body. In stepping out she simultaneously travels back twenty five centuries in time. The image is a metaphor for the liberation of the female mind - through the feminist activity of the late twentieth century - and of her body through the artless freedom of the garment she wears.
Revealing Grace 2000
Woven tapestry Size - 100 x 70 cm. (irreg.)
Uniting Venus and Mars 2001
Woven tapestry Size - 85 x 96 cm. (irreg.)
Embracing Atalanta 2002
Woven tapestry Size - 1.25 x 90 cm. (irreg.)
Arousing Psyche 2004
Woven tapestry Size - 1. 1 x 1. 2 m. (irreg.)
Liberating Psyche 2003
Woven tapestry Size - 1.55 x 1.5 m. (irreg.)
Installation at Maroondah Gallery, Melbourne 2004
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