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FW i know that you read widely. are there writers who have informed your painting in the past, and are there particular writers whose ideas you are interested in at the moment? cc When i was at college i was very interested in the notion of a female language, of an embodied subjectivity, of this site of in-betweenness, but i think it just made sense in terms of what i was painting. i feel like i have always been interested in what i’m interested in, often from an emotional rather than an intellectual level. So, that i read what i am interested in and paint what i am interested in, there is a crossover, and perhaps things do seep into the work, but not consciously. i don’t think i could work like that. Currently i’m really enjoying reading psychoanalytic theory, and i have read lots that has made me think about my paintings not exactly differently, but with greater clarity. there is a lot there that resonates with what i’m doing, but how much that might inform how they develop, i’ll have to see. FW in your earlier work it seems like you were painting to create resemblances, though not descriptions, as if objects were caught in steam or clouds, making them indistinct, or in ‘waxiness’, ‘fattiness’ or ‘pussiness’, which renders them formless. cc this is because they didn’t sit on a surface like they do now. i was very concerned that they should be ‘abstract’ paintings. Which in some ways i think they still are, but i’m happy for them to feel more illusory and like real things now. it feels like the more ‘real’ something becomes the more explanations you have to give, and the more awkward the paintings are, and perhaps i am. But i do really like this awkwardness, they are frustrating in many ways, in the difficulty in naming what this thing is. FW your painting always seems to be in a state of momentum, with this thing morphing from one state to the next, sometimes almost imperceptibly and at other times quite dynamically, such as now, with these brush marks becoming quite agitated. cc good! i often make sure i can’t see any of my other paintings in the studio while i work, as i don’t want to be looking at what works in them as i’m doing a new painting. Each painting needs to do something new, or go somewhere else. Sometimes those changes may seem imperceptible to others. Other times things can move on much faster. Which i guess is often down to just getting to the studio more, or just being that much more focused, and also other influences coming in at the right time. FW When we talked last time you told me that you were using different brushes and ‘drawing with the paint more’ and that you were currently doing some watercolours and that you were enjoying making them lusher and juicier. i see that you are also reducing your palette further to work at the liminal boundaries between red and pink. cc i really enjoy doing the watercolours, there has to be much more decision in the marks you make, whereas with oils i can completely re-work things over and over again. With watercolour, to a great extent, you have to work with what happens much more spontaneously, and it’s a whole other language. it’s very easy to get comfortable with what you know, and i think working with a medium that forces me to work differently has brought something to my oil painting also. i’ve worked in watercolour on and off since college, but it’s only in the last few months that i’ve gotten really engrossed in it. i’ve just been doing very small ones at a desk, so there’s lots more to explore there. i’ve always used pinks and reds a lot but they are definitely getting riper in these current paintings including those in the exhibition. there are lots of colours in there, but they seem inevitably to arrive at pink. its sweet and sickly, and all these horrible and lovely things.

44 AmBiguOuS PRACtiCES

Still Life: Ambiguous Practices Exhibition Catalogue  
Still Life: Ambiguous Practices Exhibition Catalogue  

Catalogue by Frances Woodley