Amanda’s interest as a painter lies in a fascination with individuals playing out a role in order to exist in an idealised form. Often drawing inspiration from actresses from the 1920’s and 50’s, the characters that she paints are ephemeral; existing at the time in which they’re recognised by others and belonging to artificial constructions of their own devising.
They display a dedication to the present moment of enacting a role and their appearance seeks to transcend any particular era, a look that’s effectively collaged from different periods. As a figurative painter, to convey this sense of dislocation within her work, she’s keen to create spaces that can’t be put into context.
Her focus is on the temporary nature of this state of performance and stardom. The role can only be enacted for a certain length of time – so there’s a feeling of the tragic, when a sense of oneself depends on the external validation gained through this show. In his essay The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord speaks of escaping the mediocrity of the everyday through creating ‘momentary ambiences of life’ and transforming them into a ‘superior passional quality’. Such has been the aim of performers such as the mime artist Lindsay Kemp, living in character.
Source material for her work includes the more obscure and choreographed settings of burlesque, cabaret or the circus – where people adopt theatrical roles and there’s the element of masquerade. The images that she works from have the potential to be mythical and often already display a certain level of artifice. Combining imagery or tropes from specific eras creates new, unrecognisable images that subvert the viewer’s expectations.
Amanda’s interested in exploring the possibilities and limitations of paint and how applying it in particular ways can call into question certain fundamental concepts such as space, time and identity.
Often drawing inspiration from actresses from the 1920’s and 50’s, the characters that she paints are ephemeral; existing at the time in which they’re recognised by others and belonging to artificial constructions of their own devising.