An Invitation to Gaze

A virtual exhibition of paintings by Hannah Barnes
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This blog is a visual, on-line record of my art work and my personal research (guided simply by what I like) into art history and contemporary art.

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Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Woman from Somalia

(Above) The Woman from Somalia
June 2011
15cm x 18cm
Mixed media (Faber Castel Albrecht Durer watercolour crayons, Windsor & Newton Indian inks, Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks, Caran d'ache Neocolour II water-soluble wax crayons) on 100% cotton rag, acid-free paper (200g).

The female face fascinates. It's a reoccurring motif in my painting.  Its simplicity and the artifice of make-up and fashion allow me to explore the decorative surface of the painting. The female face is everywhere: she dominates our cultural imagery, acting as a "cultural barometer" or more literally a personification of cultural norms and trends. My works comment on the ubiquitous female face. Whilst some of the women in my paintings are known and recognisable, my paintings are not so much portraits as simply painted representations of this woman, of her face. The painting's title can sometimes point to the subject's identity, but if the titles provide a possible narration to the painting's significance the artist is an unreliable narrator and titles can be used to create an illusion, to question the polarity of fact and fiction.