By Rebecca Fortnum
During this illuminating number of new interviews, probably the most very important girls artists working towards in Britain this present day speak about their paintings, their affects and their relationships, occasionally ambivalent, with the paintings old canon. Enlightening and often wonderful, the interviews, with artists spanning diversified generations and dealing in media as various as functionality paintings, portray, sculpture, video and set up, provide interesting first-hand insights into either the artists' lives and the inventive approach. Fortnum speaks to: Tacita Dean, Tanya Kovats, Christine Borland, Jane Harris, Vanessa Jackson, Tracey Emin, Maria Lalic, Hayley Newman, Sonia Boyce, Emma Kay, Gillian Ayres, Lucy Gunning, Claire Barclay, Maria Chevska, Anya Gallacio, Jemima Stehli, Runa Islam and Paula Rego.
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Extra resources for Contemporary British Women Artists: In Their Own Words
When you give your friend the camera and they take a photograph, there’s a big gap between the experience of seeing yourself in an image doing a performance and the experience of being the performer. RF Yes, the document becomes the audience’s experience of the work. How has Connotations affected work that you’ve done since, are you re-thinking those ideas of fiction? 27 2721 CC of Art. In Own Words. 19/9/06 2:19 pm Page 28 CONTEMPORARY BRITISH WOMEN ARTISTS HN It was never about a binary relationship between fiction and reality; it was more complicated.
Afterwards I did a painting with three and then one with two. The two ellipse paintings seemed to me to be really interesting because of what you just said. They are ostensibly the same, one is repeated, but they occupy different spaces on the canvas, so however one much one tries to look at them as the same, they never are. RF It was interesting that you described the paintings as referencing ornate mirrors. I see them as blank mirrors; referring you back to your (absent) self – quite a terrifying experience.
RF In a series that’s going to last a long time, is there a difficulty in keeping it alive for you, or with subtle differences coming into play? ML There isn’t at all. I would only start such a project it if I felt completely committed to it and felt I’d resolved any logistical or technical questions. The artist Roman Opalka built in subtle changes by the addition of 1per cent white to each successive work in his Detail… series but, as in those paintings, I think it would be very hard for anyone to detect any significant differences in the series over time.