John’s Wife

John’s Wife: Artist as Subject; Subject as Object explores the notion of identity; specifically middle-aged female identity. The locus of the exhibition is provided by the three nudes, John’s wife (yellow), John’s wife (blue) and John’s wife (white). Each explores a facet of experience of a middle age woman. Supporting these works is a number of drawings, prints and artist’s books. The exhibition is a personal document informed by a spirit of autobiography. The paradox of being both perceiving subject and perceived object is explored. The reference to ‘wife’ alludes to observing oneself from a distance and also refers to a practice, common in the conservative patriarchy of the mining world, of assigning women to rigid social positions. These positions are predominantly defined in terms of marriage; ‘She is John’s wife,’ being a common form of introduction. Within this socially defined area other questions of identity on the subjective experience of femininity and middle age are explored.