A. Elizabeth Allen-Cannon
For me, painting is a place to explore the amorphous and unstable qualities of feminine stereotypes, as well as constructions of feminine authorship and selfhood. What characterizes a feminine gesture? Is it hesitant? Sassy? Insecure? Demure? Anemic? How does one construct the self while both identifying with and being repulsed by traditional gender scripts? These questions produce a range of style and mark-making that subverts the singular authorial voice, resulting in a schizophrenic femininity across the work. Often the content feels dated, sentimental, and matronly. Floating paper envelops the picture plane, contrasting with ejaculatory cartoon lines. Smiling in self-deprecation, folded paper insists on being read as transparent even though the content feels opaque and substantial—especially when painted on wood panel. I am interested in painting as a site for the obsessive untangling of the past and for endless projects of self-reinvention as a means to achieve emotional autonomy. In the end, what emerges is a nebulous femininity engaging in caricatured acts of genius and failure—contained yet claustrophobic, inept yet dominant.