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The woman glanced in the mirror and realised she was not there


Illustration 1


ONCE UPON A TIME The woman glanced in the mirror and realised she was not there Somewhere in her journey she had lost herself The woman felt she was made of glass and looked through herself into the past The glass was opaque with the dust of time that obscured her view I need the strength of a door solid that I can both open and close Thought the woman The door she found was made of paper


Illustration 2


IN THE BEGINNING The room was filled with dolls The woman thought that these were the companions and emotional supports Of her childhood but they were grotesque and had hard pointy fingers She marvelled at how had she slept with these creatures yet retained her eyes The woman took the paper door and covered the faces and fingers of the dolls She rubbed and rubbed at their surface trying to reimagine truths


The truths were distorted and confused her She remembered her skin began to blister and boil A claustrophobia where she could not swallow or breathe All was lost in a constant falling through time down a bottomless black shaft The girl never knew how she landed the pain of it never dwindled The girl now had mottled blotched skin quite alien in its purple hue Somewhere in the shaft her nails and eyelashes had been plucked away Eyebrows no longer sheltered her delicate eyes from people Who whispered stared and ostracised her


Illustration 3


Always alone except for the pointy dolls Deep in her dreams the girl had slumbered in a lap of pure white crisp linen While words of comfort whispered and soothed Shouting angry men often came to the paper door and demanded to be let in To join their weeping women and children who cowered inside They held answers in their eyes and mouths of yellow and blue hued patches She felt she knew them but she worried About the strength of paper doors The girl assumed that the house of dark shafts and weeping was locked up And left in the past


Illustration 4


THEN The girl travelled to the big city and learned to nurture the rows of sick and old She swathed them in bandaged layers pennies for eyes and mouths tied shut She saw inside them and marvelled at beating hearts and pulsing vessels She had a lap of starched linen and whispered and soothed Holding hands of pointy fingers until they went limp Later she reversed the process Lifting quiet limp blue flesh coaxed to be pink and loud Then bombs of the angriest men she had ever seen Easily tore the buildings of paper doors and windows People trembled fearful of who lived behind the other doors And what they might be or do Then the guns came Three pink rosebuds spurted on the pale naked abdomen of a young woman The girl was so distressed she got married


Illustration 5


HAPPY EVER AFTER The girl no longer dreamed alone She felt her whispers were less effective Her white linen was replaced with a zip The girl swelled with life and vibrancy Her body nurtured the parasites Feeding greedily within The growths got bigger and bigger until the girl could No longer walk or breathe They were cut from her flesh When she saw them she loved them Promised them eternal protection Even when they towered above her Rippling with strength youth and vigour


Illustration 6


The girl was now a woman but had no magical protection From the destructive anomalies of fate The boy who shared her hopes and occasionally some of her dreams Was cast into a pit of fear His youthful body smite by the very diseases He fought so valiantly to solve and cure He begged the woman to keep his secret Their secret to guard from the world The woman absorbed and carried the secret It got so heavy that she didnt walk or venture out The woman avoided people As she was so scared of letting slip their secret The paper doors and windows of their house looked pretty But they were barriers and seldom opened The woman no longer knew how to cry


Illustration 7


NOW The woman had thought her days Of soothing people To gently let loose the moorings of age and infirmity were past Time ticked Helpless Watching preceding generations of her loved ones Miraculously continue to breathe and breathe Skeletal remains of body and soul Melting away second by second But still patiently in line unknowing fingers pointing Create she could express but not expose herself She need not pick the scabs of time


Illustration 8


Her work explored the appearance and perception of things A dichotomy of that hidden and exposed White ethereal and beautiful But the darkness revealed itself Always hovering Seeping out of the delicacy of the marks Lurking to distort the whole The woman was still not in the mirror but the glass had cleared Finally she could see the path forward Take these reflective surfaces and magically smother them Into new life Pure crisp white paper to soothe her as she sat Drawing tiny lines to obscure the real pictures


Illustrations

1 ‘Black Mirror 1’ Graphite line on 40gsm paper 58 x 42 2cm 2016 2 ‘Stare’ detail Graphite on Japanese Ivory 44gsm paper. 2 Metres x 97 cm 2016 3 ‘Gesture’ detail Graphite on Rice paper 78 x 52 cm 2016 4 ‘Flat Wendy’ Compressed graphite on 40gsm paper 48 x 38 x 4 2016 5 ‘Untitled’ Compressed graphite on tissue paper 54 x 44 x 24cm 2016 6 ‘Stitched’ Compressed graphite on 40gsm paper 59 x 49 2cm 2016 7 ‘Velvet’ detail Compressed graphite on paper 57 x 40 9 cm 2016 8 ‘Mirror 3’ Graphite line on 40gsm paper 59 x 42 2cm 2016

©Rosalind Barker 2016 www.rosalindbarker.co.uk

Profile for Rosalind Barker

Rosalind Barker MA Drawing  

Rosalind Barker MA Drawing  

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