The 2023 Victorian Salon des Refusés
This portrait was submitted to the 2022 Portia Geach.
click on artwork to enlarge
Cat#24 Sharon Monagle
WATER MUSIC - SELF PORTRAIT
Acrylic on Canvas
92 w x 92 h cm
Water Music is a self-portrait in which I embody the experience of women in modern Australian society. My portrait tries to capture the sense of overwhelm and defeat experienced by so many who are trying to manage entrenched external demands and our own internal desires.
The luxury and the promise of modern society is that women can “have it all.” The reality for women who aspire to this is that we must manoeuvre deftly and negotiate with skill to meet the requirements of the domestic, the emotional, the corporate, the creative and the intimate. My portrait does not seek to blame men, women or society for the impossibility of this task. It simply seeks to recognise it and to invite us all to question how we move forward toward true equality and inclusion.
Women want to mother well, to take their place at the corporate table, to maintain domestic harmony, to provide emotional support to those close to them, to be sexy. To do all of this they need to give up some territory, they need to expect more from their partners, they need to understand that they are entitled to express their needs.
The title Water Music derives from the background colour, a Dulux house paint I buy from Bunnings. It is calm, it is perfectly opaque, it is reliable. It seemed a fitting title.