2018-2020 Study of Emmeline Pankhurst

I created the split portrait Study of Emmeline Pankhurst’s Arrest (2018) during my PhD research.  The reference photo I came across captured Emmeline Pankhurst by which I can feel the aggression asserted on a vulnerable woman.  The creation process involved an indecisiveness between making split portraits and a single panel portrait due to the revisiting of the aggressiveness in the image.

Keen to understand the pain, the feelings and the unknown in Pankhurst,  I used painting as a way to identify with her.  However, the pain and the aggression were so intense that I could not represent them properly.  I created one painting after another, and ended up making a panel of split portraits of Pankhurst.  I proposed that my act of painting was similar to Sigmund Freud’s ‘alternating game, fort-da’ which symbolizes repetition, and by which a child deals with the trauma created by the separation from her mother.

Study of Emmeline Pankhurst (Triptych)

Ink on paper

50cm x 100 cm x 2cm (framed)

Study of Emmeline Pankhurst 01

Ink on paper

56cm x 76.2cm (unframed)

Study of Emmeline Pankhurst 02

Ink on paper

28cm x 38cm