“What’s In A Name?” :: New Series – Works In Progress

What’s In A Name?

Wife of... (#1)
Wife of... (#1) - underpainting, work in progress ©2011 Janice Tanton. 30x30, oil on linen

I have begun work on a series of new paintings, the first of which will debut at Elevation Gallery in the “Sacred/Modern” exhibition. I would like to share the progressions with you. My practice is always about making the process of the artist visible and seeks to define our humanity.

This series is based upon identity, how we identify ourselves and how others identify us within the context of different relationships. Beginning with a series of portraits of women, I will examine our identity in relationship to family, seated within the context of culture and time. I expect that I will continue this series over a period of years.

The first two portraits (below) are painted from old reference photographs. More often than not, names were never noted for photographs taken of Aboriginal women. They were sometimes noted as “Wife of….”, “Sister of…..”, “Mother of….” or “Daughter of….” or never noted at all. Their own names which defined their identity were lost forever in the western context of historical record. Still, the spirit of those who are “un-named” in modern context, remains visible. We can sometimes tell more or imagine more by looking at the visual of the person than perhaps a language definition of a name. This practice was and is…. not uncommon for all women, and I am intrigued with our identification and naming of a person as an “object possessed by or of” vs. a standalone identity name.

As always, I welcome your comment and insight on the work.

"Wife of..." (#2)
"Wife of..." (#2), underpainting - work in progress. ©2011Janice Tanton OIl on linen, 30x30

The exhibition, “Sacred/Modern” is defined as such:

“Modern art is an expression of our time. Often exclusive, shocking, remote and unintelligible to the average viewer, there is a perception the modern=disenchanted. Contemporary artists are encouraged to shun romanticism and any direct references to belief systems unless both are approached as a challenge rather than a celebration.

Sacred/Modern is an opportunity for the artist to uncover what is sacred to you, be it nature or family or creativity itself, and communicate it in a big way. The exhibition will be the feature for the ArtsPeak Festival in Canmore and premier on June 17th, 2011.”

More exciting announcements about this theme and work related to it in future posts….

“What’s In A Name?” :: Gallery of Works in Progress -The Next Steps…
“What’s In A Name?” :: Connecting

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