Forty-Eight Women, a Kitten & Pele|Part One|The Aunties With Their Shirts

aunty with a psychedelic shirt, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 91cm x 152cm

This collection started with a painting I had done much earlier and stored away. It amazed me how much my style evolved the more paintings I did in this series. When I went back to the one that inspired the rest, I was shocked at how different it looked from its sisters. Nonetheless, I included it in the collection because it was an important driving force behind my 2006 exhibition at Dar Al-Funoon: Forty-Eight Women, a Kitten & Pele.

The gallery showcased a collection of fictional portraits depicting mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and grandmothers. There wasn’t a narrative in most of the paintings. I relied more on the space, or aura, surrounding the canvases, the relationship between the women, especially the ones you see here who are all sisters and coincidentally six (my mother has five sisters and I can see one in each of these six portraits). I see these women and each is an island on her own, but somehow they interact to form an equilibrium. But the archipelago is only equal by one island taking from the other, and some giving up more of themselves than is fair.

auntie with a trippy shirt, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 91cm x 152cm. she is the oldest, most domineering and feared

auntie with a strange shirt, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 91cm x 152cm

auntie with a fabulous shirt, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 91cm x 152cm

auntie with a bizarre shirt, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 91cm x 152cm

auntie with a groovy shirt, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 91cm x 152cm

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