As a series of paintings winds to completion, there is usually at least one painting that is a transition to the next series. Triumvirate is the transition between the series Time Flies, and Floaters. While Triumvirate contains text and bold forms, a palette knife was the tool of choice, the blues and whites merging loosely together, no hard edges to be found. In addition, the use of a sketch prior to placing paint on the canvas was abandoned in favor of the absolute freedom to allow the painting to emerge from the paint itself.|
The image began as a group of mountains, but the peaks and valleys struck me as rather stale, so I turned the painting upside down and viewed the composition anew. What emerged was this image of three women, grouped tightly together as if one unit, who seem to be conferring with each other. It is a serious intimate moment, an image that speaks of the strength to be found in numbers. The power of three is greater than the power of one. Hence, the title: Triumvirate.
A triumvirate is actually a coalition of three men (from the Latin triumviratus, trium means three (genitive form), and vir means man). The first triumvirate in Roman history was the alliance of Julius Caesar, Pompey (Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus), and Marcus Licinius Crassus formed in 60 B.C. The juxtaposition of this word with the image of three women who wear their heads covered, seemed particularly fitting at a time when the media was filled with the stories of women in Afghanistan (post the 9-ll tragedy).
I had also recently watched the film 'The Circle' about three women in Iran, who all wore the black chadors. Through no conscious intention of my own, my pristine mountains turned into these three women who appear to be Middle Eastern, or who adhere to a traditional culture (there are many parts of Europe - particularly Eastern Europe where women still wear headscarves, and widows dress from head to toe in black).
Rather than lament the oppression of women, I chose text to demonstrate their potential might. The word 'consolidate' in the center of the women, along with the word 'radiate' - appearing to the right of 'consolidate' - alludes to the women radiating their strength and wisdom, through consolidating their power as individuals into one unified force.