Shadows of Frailty by Barbara Ash

“Shadows of Frailty” looks at our vulnerability in the pandemic; how our feeling of safety is undermined with a common threat to survival. The paintings work in sections or pairings which echo my feeling of the weird compartmentalisation of life since lockdown and the polarisation of the challenges different sectors of the population experience. Those of us on the sidelines have to adjust to restrictions and financial pressures and keep morale, while others suffer and mourn, and then alternately those on the frontline battle with trauma and unsafe conditions, risking their lives.

The mixed media paintings incorporate family photos, Victorian photos, and references from paintings (Frida Kahlo’s “Girl with a death mask). There is an element of unreality, farce, and denial in the scenarios which reflect the way I, along with many others, have had to develop the necessary ability to “switch off” to cope in crazy beleaguered times.

Shadows of frailty 1 – Acrylic, canvas,grit. 20 x 20 cms.
Shadows of frailty 2 – Acrylic, canvas, digital print, doilies, grit. 20 x 20 cms.
Shadows of frailty 3 – Acrylic, canvas, grit. 20 x 20 cms.

I create installations, sculptures, print and paintings exploring the dynamics of girlhood, female experience, identity and representation, working mainly from autobiographical motivations, and often using toy and doll imagery as devices to comment on contemporary issues. My work celebrates colour and curves, it seeks to exist on different levels, from sardonic humour, gentle critique and social commentary, to objects of innocent simplicity, and visual exuberance.

Posted in C19

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