home  contact

Exhibition 2020: "Cease and desist"

at M16 February-March 2020

 

Works: Oil on oard, unframed, size 50 x 75cm

When men get angry, their power grows. When women get angry, their power shrinks.

Anger is a rational and emotional response to threats, prejudice, physical injury and mental torture. It defines what is and what ought to be. It identifies a difficult past and proposes a better future. Anger is one of the most hopeful and forward thinking of all our emotions. It initiates transformation, it manifests our passion and keeps us in touch with the world.

Women are taught to ignore, divert, or trivialise their anger. An angry woman is defined as "crazy," "irrational," or "demonic." The silence of angry women preserves masculine power. Men are expected to be angry and women are expected to placate and please them. The ideal of a "good woman" forbids feminine anger and denies women the very emotion which protects them against danger.

A society that does not respect women's anger is one that does not respect them as human beings, thinkers, knowers, active participants, or citizens. Women's anger symbolises the anger of the mother which is felt as a life threatening force. This fear lingers into adulthood, especially for men.

This exhibition aims to visualise women's anger. The concept of women's anger and men's aggression or their passive indifference is drawn without ambiguity, without misrepresenting it, without excusing it and without diminishing it. Ultimately the recognition and expression of anger is cathartic which is a necessary process to sweep away the psychic pain of a community which has been traumatised by violence. Only then can a vision of the future emerge.

 

 

image1

1. "The litter"

In the 1950/60s so many of us were young women, stupid, innocent, idealistic and targeted by a sexual predators who regarded virgins as trophies. So many of us trod that path to the alter where three of us were married, him, her and the embryonic, unacknowledged presence of the future generation. And then there were the terminated pregnancies, many and varied, gin and a hot water bath, a kick in the stomach, a crochet needle or a coat hanger shoved into a woman's intimate, sacred places. This was our fifties reality. Even those clumps of living human cells which survived to become viable human beings, were regarded as trash because of the mother's lack of matrimonial status. She was often left to raise her children, the man having sought other willing virgins. And then she was probably stalked by a rapacious child welfare system which decided that if she worked then her children were neglected, forgetting that work meant food on the table and shelter for her children. This was the stolen generation of white women and the stains of this nightmare are still with us today in the minds and hearts of mother deprived of their right to motherhood. Has anything changed since then? Yes it has. Women are now killed for less. Men didn't murder women in the nineteen fifties/sixties. Society had women under control, so the men didn't have bother with such inconveniences as having to deal with the legal consequences of their crimes.

image6

2. "Gang bang"

Testosterone fuelled gangs of men can be a danger to women. There is little difference between street gang bangs, rape in war and rape after footy. Break up the gangs or educate the boys.

 

 

image8

3. "For queen and country"

Gangs of men think one thought with one mind. There is no difference between walking the walk and talking the talk. Any person outside their frame of reference is the "other" to be feared, suppressed or killed.

 

 

image7

4. "Expendable and invisable"

A woman raped is an object of scorn. She is made to disappeas from our landscape and if she does not, the helping hand is often curled up in a fist.

 

 

5. Medusa"

She was one stroppy lady who terrified the men who accosted her. Ultimeately she was defeated but not before taking down many of them. The suited business men are pretending she's not there.

 

 

image5

6. "Domestic bliss"

Reality is a transparent cloud in the ether. The black suited lords of their domain turn their back in case a wisp of reality disturb their sanitised consciousness.

 

 

image3

7. "Hotel California"

Hell is Hotel California. You can check in but you can never leave. The three headed monster Cerberus entraps the women who, like coal mine canaries, cry out the truth.

 

 

image5

8. "Judgment day"

Judges follow each other and the pillars of wisdom are corroded by the patriarchy. Justice has been abducted without a sign of protest from the practitioner of the law.