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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. Which seems like the kind of day which deserves acknowledgement. The transition from Secondary School to an all girl's college at Cambridge cemented the beginnings of a feminist sentiment. I spent my first two years at university writing incessantly about women in novels, poems and stories from the Middle Ages to contemporary literature. The Feminist fervour all culminated in a dissertation on Angela Carter, fairytales and mothers. The one thing I had to lament, was that I had failed to justify illustrating my dissertation with Paula Rego's paintings and etchings, the ones I had studied in school and which had ignited the initial fire of interest.

Paula Rego is an amazing woman; as I read interviews and see powerful portraits such as this, my admiration for her only grows. Rego is brave and defiant and so is her work. It is afraid of no subject, no boundary or taboo. I wish I had more time to devote to Rego today, but I have to rush off to a supervision. So I will leave you with a series of paintings based on Snow White and let you read your own subversions in to it. The thing I love is the way Disney's vision of Snow White has been absorbed in to this contemporary reading of the relation between daughter and step mother.


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