Extraordinary machine, 2014 - 2015
Gouache, watercolour, pencil and ink on paper
180 x 400 cm
The woman in this work is a self-portrait combined with Michelangelo’s Libyan Sibyl, a prophetic priestess in the Sistine Chapel. As Michelangelo only used male models, she has a very muscular body and by using this male power she turns into a trans powerhouse. I made this work as I was moving from London to Shanghai, whilst I was actually longing to escape to nature and not to a big city. The cat in the bottom left is a way of me focussing all my fears into the image of my cat freezing to death during the journey. Shanghai is still pencilled in, as I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but she is holding the reigns of ambition in her left hand, also symbolized by the green claw. The snake around her waist might betray her. In her right hand she holds a human embryo at its earliest stage, whilst she is weighing up motherhood versus ambition. The butterflies and exposed human heart symbolise her recent wedding. The quetzal bird leading the way is her desire to live in the jungle in Costa Rica. The tiger coming from underneath her skirt roars powerfully into the future she is heading, its roar drowning out her fears.
Extraordinary Machine talks about how sometimes being in certain challenging situations requires you to be an extraordinary machine: a person who in chaotic circumstances has to be powerful and in her calm steadiness resembles partly a human being and partly a machine.
180 x 400 cm