Monday, July 21, 2008

Using text

I also experimented with using text in paintings, but soon realised that you have to be very careful with the type of text you use. This text seems to be completely at odds with the figures, who seem comfortable with each other. The text itself is a quote from my other favourite Irish novelist Marion Keyes, and it is from her novel Rachel's Holiday. (I challenge anyone to refer to her work as merely 'chicklit'. Read them first. A much more accurate description of these is The Thinking Woman's Chicklit.) I think I went for one of Marion Keyes' books because she is absolutely marvellous at capturing 'real' dialogue - when I read her books I feel like I'm talking to a friend - and I wanted 'real' dialogue to tie in with my 'real' social dynamics works. However, sometimes that suggested by the text does not match the attitude of the subjects drawn, all of whom are real people. This painting was a failure in that respect, and I have been asked to remove it from an exhibition because one of the people working at that arts centre had been in an abusive relationship and found it very upsetting to be confronted with this every day.

It's a hard painting to look at, and the implications of what it might suggest are also hard to take. Maybe this is an indication that it's successful on some level, I don't know. I am learning about communication as I go along.

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