Zwemmen met de Vissen
Oil on MDF<br>
<br>My paintings are interchangeable, much like a theatre or fairy-tale. Through this I speak to the idea of an ever-changing story, evolving, multiplying with each iteration, unable to pin down, protected, bursting at the seams. Using Theo Molkenboer’s 1916 photographs as reference, I present history like a souvenir book, holding on to old values, my ancestors anyone, everyone, manifesting culture as I superimpose my face on bodies through paint. I explore my lived experience and history by weaving in folklore relating to my ancestry, and what this means for my own identity.
Physically the paintings I create take up space I feel unable to, and are larger than life, giving presence to internal thoughts and dialogues, fear and anger.
Tethered to the past, I become my family tree, matriarchal lineage carried through the mother’s side, drowning, rising, bubbling past, present and future, surrounded by fish. My house reflects my inner world, sometimes overwhelming and dramatic, following trauma. Trees curling stories up in their branches, falling like brittle leaves.
Ruby Waage Townsend 2023