Amelia Welbourne BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History
My artistic practice is concerned with representing the everyday lives of women in domestic environments in order to challenge the traditional depiction of the naked female body throughout art history as passive, inactive and on display. My work embraces the ‘active’ nude, showing women comfortably performing everyday activities in their own private environments, devoid of the male gaze. My use of the traditional medium of oil paint in a more contemporary and fluid fashion is significant to my practice as this emphasises how my paintings stand apart from art history’s classical and perfected images of women. By transforming these mundane but bold scenes into large oil paintings, my work elevates the everyday, and invites the viewer to question what qualifies as high art. In contrast to the usual depictions of ‘femininity’, the women in my paintings are confidently naked; often bent, slumped, or splayed out unapologetically. They are uninterested in the viewer and absorbed in their own activities. The opaque yet familiar background enables the viewer to feel as if this space could be their own, and although my paintings are self-portraits, the female figure in my work serves to be a relatable and empowering character that other women can see themselves in.