As a young girl, I realised that without intention my body was political. Non-consensually the gaze had been placed upon my body, sparking the subversive relationship I have with it and later, the complications added due to my bisexual identity. Painting from a woman’s perspective through a bisexual lens, I celebrate female and non-binary bodies within their private spaces, granting voice to anxieties and revealing what the heteronormative male gaze cannot reach.
Collecting inspiration from insights into strangers’ domestic residences through the dating app Tinder, I reimagine private spaces combined with my own surroundings. Reminiscent of recent lockdowns and the world’s retreat to the confines of the home, the cosy environments are all too familiar, tributing the prolonged periods of functioning around our beds. The bedsheet pattern becomes a motif, representing my utmost comfort when cocooned and curled between the sheets. It more solemnly expresses the sexualised assumptions parcelled with my body and sexuality, bringing light to the ‘otherness’ I feel. This alienation as a bisexual identifying woman with false societal assumptions of a ‘promiscuous’, ‘undecided’ trope creates turbulent feelings towards my own identity. The home becomes a haven where I feel free to live unapologetically without the penetration of an onlooking sexualising gaze.
Switching between voyeur and subject, I enjoy playing with to-be-looked-at-ness, reclaiming my power of looking through the projection of my loneliness onto solitary isolating figures, and returning to the subject to reveal my truths, apprehensions and vulnerabilities. Some figures recognise the viewer’s intrusion and confront our gaze with unbroken eye contact, whilst others remain unscathed, continuing with the mundanities of their daily routine.
Through layers of colour playing with line, pattern, flatness and the sweet spot between detail and ambiguity, atmospheric portraits of people rightfully taking up space are presented. Paying tribute to the private realm, intimate, honest moments are captured.
Between the two polarities of heterosexual and homosexual, I conflictingly exist between sheets.