Homage To Duality
Often as an artist I tell myself I can’t more than I can. That feeling of self-doubt often conspires against me and has led to missed opportunities along the way. The ‘All Can Be Frida’ exhibition was a huge I can’t moment. The shear breadth of options available bewildered me and I safely put the idea of submitting work to bed. However, change is constant in life and I was struck by the sudden urge, very close to the date of the exhibition, to submit a concept. I’m lucky I have understanding people around me and part of The Artists Pool collective, as my concept was quickly given the green-light, even though I was actually past the submission deadline.
The work itself came from a very personal place. I wanted to explore self-portraiture, to bare my inner self and to tell a story about my identity and inherent duality. Sometimes concepts and the physical material needed to bring them to fruition have a habit of coming together without any effort. The clothing and most of the accessories I used in the shoot were already in my possession and I had studio lights that had never been used, which I quickly mastered. Working with the concept had me shoot perhaps 200+ images to get things just as I wanted. The eyes were a big part of the piece, I wanted a confident yet knowing stare to peer out of the work.
After selecting the final image I decided I needed to paint the background. This was another first, I have never painted directly onto a printed image before. With no real conscious idea of what I wanted to fill the background with except night and day I set to work. This piece was completely organic, it grew with me and from the first application of paint I began to see the story I wished to tell unfold. A story of duality, feminine and masculine, night and day, death and life. A story of loss, yet with hope of new beginnings.
I can now confidently say I’m extremely proud of the completed work ‘Homage To Duality’, a homage to Frida Kahlo’s strength yet a self-portrait full of symbolism and emotion for me. I felt myself pouring into the work and it’s a feeling I look forward to experiencing again.