Primary Sources exhibited as 'Art in Performance': 1985 (N.F.S.)

This is a photo of me with one of the Primary Sources images in Art in Performance, Performance in Art at the Castle Gallery, Nottingham in 1985, curated by Michella Butter.I was influenced at this time by the painting of Maria Chevska : Drowning the Sound, 1983 and Clearing the Ropes, 1984.She was working from notions of Myth and fable and I had been impressed by the Pandora's Box Exhibition in general. There had been Linda Nochlin's work that asked the question'why have there been no great women artists?', and a general sense of a renaissanace of women's work in Kate Millet's Art and Sexual Politics.
I wanted to address women as audience in this work  but the work found its way into this large survey exhibition which included works by Rodin and Picasso.I put down concrete ideas into the large scale work, which dominated my thoughts at that time,but the more  that went into the canvas, the less of my original thought remained! Again pure form was dominating the 'output'! I was not keen on the 'melancholy speculation' that women artists seemed to engage in at this time- for me it was simply another way of bringing the past into the present to create a 'positive' outcome. I was also interested in John Walkers work: Oceana: I-IV ,1984, and felt it contricting to consider women's current works to be more important than men's! At this stage in my art working life I knew I had to move on or drown in a sea of sexual poltics, despite my empathy with many women artists friends who struggled to get their work shown. The politics of feminism seemed in danger of developing into something hysterical which was clearly a psychiatric syndrome to be avoided. Whilst it was possible to enjoy the post-Expressionist  zeal of work that responded to the feminist framwork thinking in a formal way, I felt that to continue down this path would become ghettoizing. There was no point in continuing with what were really Baroque and Romantic motifs, even if parody was the main contingent. I had to stop work for a while to refind myself in the confusion, although, ironically there was more interest in my work at this time than I had known before or since.

Oil paint on paper 200cmx 300cm