AboutPrivate View: House of Cards
Paintings by Anne Windsor
Sound by Martin A Smith
Anne Windsor's practice continues to focus on definitions of individuality. Not in a physical, biological sense of ancestral features inherited genetically. Instead, her portraits relate to the psychological/ emotional identity of particular people she has met. However, the works exhibited in this show not only include 'portraits' of specific individuals, but also look at the general characteristics, or constituents, that contribute to personality.
In a letter to John Hamilton Reynolds dated Sunday, 3 May 1818, the poet John Keats uses the phrase 'Mansion of Many Apartments' as a metaphor to describe human life. He suggests that people are capable of different levels of thought. Those who do not question the world around them remain in the First Chamber - The Thoughtless Chamber. The open door to the next 'apartment' beckons brightly, but may be ignored.
The Second Chamber, The Chamber of Thought, has many open doors leading to dark passages. For the first time there is a choice of direction. The awakening of the questioning mind brings with it increasing awareness of the unknown. 'We see not the balance of good and evil - We feel the burden of the Mystery.' (John Keats 1818)
Parallels may be drawn with tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (also known as the Tree of Conscience) and Pandora's opened Box.
Fourteen of the paintings exhibited here constitute a series referencing the myriad of open doors in Keats' Second Chamber and the choices implicit in Pandora's Box or Eve's Apple... The paintings represent a legacy of human qualities - Gifts and Curses, Vices and Virtues!
The series explores identity through a 'dissection' which attempts to isolate and distil particular elements or character traits. Equal weight is given to each element through scale and presentation - Square frames reference the open doors of Keats' Second Chamber and the 'box' opened by Pandora. They are laid out like a deck of cards ready to be played. Choice of emphasis/balance and combination throughout the pack gives innumerable results. Individuality is achieved in the selections made! We each build our House of Cards through the choices we make, the cards we play from the pack, our legacy of options!
The layers and skins of acrylic paint are built up to give a three-dimensional solid reference to each of the ethereal qualities represented. All embody seductive elements. Recognition is blurred, the doors of the Second Chamber are open. The questions are posed for each of us to consider. Our selection defines us and the hand we play, becomes our unique portrait, our identity........ a precarious House of Cards!