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Spring Seminar

Meaning and Value

Womanhood, 2 paintings , oil on Belgian linen, September 2022.

With oblique reference to the painter Jenny Saville, these works begin to address the complexities of contemporary feminism through figurative painting.

I am currently exploring the relationship between artist and motherhood, guided by my recent research into feminist philosopher, Elizabeth Grosz and her concepts around the 'body politic'. Grosz describes the ‘body politic’ as an artificial construct that replaces the primacy of the natural body.[1] Grosz explains how the subject’s exterior is psychically constructed and, conversely, the processes of social inscription on the body’s surface construct a psychical interior: that is, looking at the outside of the body from the point of view of the inside, and inside from the point of view of the outside.[2]

Whilst acknowledging the multitude of constructed identities required of women within today’s society, I use my own subjective experience as an anchor to depict how strength, capability and achievement can render a voice within these constructs.

As a female painter, painting the unapologetically nude female body, I aim to convey the confidence acquired through effective agency, earned through accomplishment, through the use of our own bodies for our own needs, from an emerging feminist perspective. Through the internalisation of my own identity I attempt to translate these complexities of the mind by creating a psychological reading through the physicality of the female body.

In these works , I aim to carve out a space to engage with ideas around female agency, in an effort to raise awareness to the challenges faced by woman within a contemporary context.

[1] Elizabeth Grosz, Feminist Theory and the Body (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 383. [2] Grosz, Feminist Theory, 381.

Womanhood, 1610mm x 1260mm, oil on Belgian linen

Womanhood I, 1080mm x 790mm, oil on Belgian linen

Womanhood, 1610mm x 1260mm, oil on Belgian linen, Form Gallery, Whitecliffe College of Art

Womanhood, Installation shot, Form Gallery, Whitecliffe College of Art


Grosz, Elizabeth. Feminist Theory and the Body. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999.


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