Denise Weston

GIRLS: THE FEMALE GAZE

This series of work has its origin in a 2006 painting, "Girl No. 1". Returning to this theme in 2009, I became interested in painting retrospective 'girl' portraits of women from childhood photographs. 

The relationship with many of the 'models' has been relatively impersonal, utilising contemporary electronic communication. Within this work, I have also used the motif of self-portrait, including references to the sense of self and the personal. 

The idea of archiving memory is a significant factor in this work, with Gerhard Richter's painting '48 Portraits' (1971-72) and Marlene Dumas's series 'Model and Rejects' (1994) being significant influences. 

Using traditional methods, such as oil paint, where under-painting and glazing can be used to build up rich layers, the paintings are visual metaphors for time, memory and change. The work also seeks to explore the concept of female 'beauty', and in particular, the stereotypical depiction of women. These 'girls' look back at the viewer with an unflinching gaze.

A number of corresponding sketchbooks and boxed/framed works have also been produced. This work explores notions of fragmented narrative, frozen  moments in time, process and application. Sketchbooks act as visual diaries, reflecting ideas linked to the production of paintings, but also as independent works in their own right.  

This work was exhibited at the Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donnington and Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham June - August 2012 int two corresponding one person exhibtitions.

Denise Weston 2012. 

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