I’ve been pondering about what I would like to create for this show for the past few weeks, I want to create something which I can relate to, or something which I have witnessed to allow the raw energy to come out as I paint.
One such thing which has been in my thoughts a great deal in my late twenties is attitude from women towards other women; I’ve observed this throughout my life (especially in my teenage years and early 20’s).
When I was younger I would often get a gut feeling when witnessing the behaviour and comments of girls to their friends; so often I’d hear the back-handed compliments, sarcasm and bitching to others about that person, be it there looks, aspirations or goals.
I think it’s fair to say that I was rather naive in my younger years and despite my gut feeling I would tell myself it was just me being over cynical (looking back I wish I might have trusted my own instinct more) maybe understood what a back handed compliment sounds like!
Here are a few instances which stick in my mind (I’ll refer to these people as ‘Girl A’, ‘girl B’ etc:
When preparing for a photograph Girl A finds herself standing next to a beautiful ‘popular’ girl,
Girl A: ‘You’re too pretty you’ll make me feel ugly standing next to you!’
Girl A’s best best friends Girl B : ‘Stand next to me instead’ (in a modest, jovial manner)
Girl A: ‘Yep I’ll stand next to Girl B, I’ll look better then!’
My seventeen year old self felt very uneasy but could’t fully understand why Girl A would say something like this.
Here’s another example:
Me and another girl we’ll know as Girl C:
In this instance I’d just gotten off the coach after a four hour long coach journey (might I add the coach journey was to go and visit Girl C)
Me: ‘Hi, lovely to see you!’
Girl C: ‘Honey, I hope you’ve brought something to change into and aren’t wearing that out!’
(this was one small thing amongst many a bitchy comment with Girl C).
Yet I felt a moral obligation to girls A and C, despite what I’ heard their comments to others and me as at times I felt they had been ‘good friends’.
This really has been something i’ve seen time and time again, It’s always women being nasty to one another, rather than be happy for their friends achievements or how well their friend is looking they just want to put them down or talk behind their back about how unfair it is this friend is getting more male attention or doing ‘better’ than them.
So what better way to vent these thoughts and feelings than on canvas, I’ve recorded the development below:
I’d started this piece several weeks back and had left it one side unfinished and today it occurred to me to go back to it for this piece…..the initial image in my head was a ghostly image of two women, maybe one tugging at the others hair or in some way appearing to be competing against the other.
As ideas have developed and painting instinct taken over a new women is predominantly in front of the first, leaving few traces of the original lady…………
This is just the start, i want to take my time and see how the ideas for this piece develop