My work takes the form of on-going narrative cycles which are played out along similar themes around gender construction, sexuality, desire, and social fantasy. Drawing and portraiture are central to my practice which also branches into text pieces, painting and installation – often incorporating these different techniques while utilizing a distinct aesthetic for each series. My fictional portraits are invested with layers of cross-cultural reference from diverse arenas from film and T.V. to Northern Renaissance painting. I create alternative fictions by stewing together divergent strands from high and low culture, also by reworking familiar texts and the cross-fertilization of different popular fictional characters; a process consistent with fan cultures.
Women’s agency and it’s relation to the complex psychological stereotypes narrated through our various cultural fictions underpins my investigations. The horror genre in particular provides a provocative and exuberantly styled dimension from which to critique the construction of the feminine. My current theme titled ‘Green Women’ is structured around three schematic devices; colour theory, character construction and word play. The subject is emboldened through the combination of these aesthetic and conceptual modes, enabling an operatic, richly styled and coercive form of language. Many verdantly abundant green skinned fictional females from contemporary mythology provide the central inspiration, intermingling texts from horror, science fiction and fantasy. The grotesque figure of the witch or possessed woman and her counter-opposite the exotic and eroticized femme fatale, are meshed together through a dual reference to The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard Of Oz and The Orion Salve Girls from Star Treck; archetypally emblematic examples of their kind. From the over-determined status of their origins I recast my subjects as provocative and knowing authors of their own identity; role playing with costume and green grease paint and rehearsing art-historical styles with elements of parody and pastiche.
Rebecca Parkin gained the Basil Alkazzi Scholarship at The Royal College of Art and graduated in 2009. She currently practices from her studio in north London.