This is a series of semi-autobiographical portraits using family heirlooms, cutlery, and cast-off china for the canvas. It is called Plates and Broken Vessels. Dishing the dirt on family dysfunction, as well as celebrating those who are always welcome to have a seat at my table.
The plates are more than willing to jump out of their daily-ware role into the arts. The vessels are stoically waiting to be transformed. Both take to the paint beautifully. The inspiration for the Broken Vessels comes from a personal experience from several years ago. I was on the sidelines of an international lecture where the speaker singled out the scholarly females in the group (women were at best 20% of the whole) with "you are the vessels of your country". Vessels! I am sure it was meant as a compliment. Something nice, in a biblical, sit back and relax, sort of way. An honor even.
Women as vessels. Oy vey. Hearing it set me back on my heels and hit my heart with the weight of the Handmaid's Tale. It has stayed with me ever since. When even the "sophisticated intellectuals" can casually refer to women as vessels for their country, what hope is there in the world for equality? And even more terrifying, are ongoing efforts to eliminate/crush women's rights in large sections of the USA - in effect, making women property of the state.
So there you have it. Who knows, maybe one day I will make it on the map, the dish will run away with the spoon, women artists will be on equal standing with men, equal rights will be a given, and more importantly, the worldwide view of us will be more than that of a vessel.