Can our Wounds be made Golden? | Fiona J. Williams | Nude
A luminous golden halo encircling the woman whose eyes are closed shut as if fast asleep. The magic light that feels like a healing process is occurring. On close inspection, you can see the various wounds on her body, that painful looking red gash on the top of her left cheek. The flecks of molten gold are like a plaster to shrink the gap. Her injuries are signified by prominent red tones throughout the rest of her body as seen under her neck, center of chest, under her right breast, and on the tops of both her thighs. Her right thigh, especially bloody. As a viewer, you wonder how she got all those wounds. You hope that the spots of gold make it all go away.
The outline shape of the woman’s afro in blue with a hint of green at the top left of her hair looks like our planet earth. A symbolic imagery as mother earth is constantly faced with many challenges. The tears of her children in every corner of the world are felt deeply. The background colour of blue and red represent the inner emotion of the subject and the physical wounds we see across her body.
Fiona drew inspiration from the Japanese technique called Kintsugi, where broken objects are mended using gold leaf and lacquer to bring beauty to what has been broken. Appreciating that nothing is ever too damaged to be hidden away. A thought that might sometimes creep in our minds as we go about our lives.
Gallery and Art History Notes
In “Can Our Wounds Be Made Golden” (2019) Fiona mixes the female nude, with eyes averted with early modern Christian imagery. The halo and vivid blue and red parts of the painting evoke Christian themes. The abstracted female, is closer to Byzantine Christian art. As she is unclothed, we know this is no Christian painting. Even Christ, hanging in the cross, always has a little cloth, no matter how scant, in front of his genitals. Yet Fiona has mixed these two in a beautiful painting that marries familial histories of Christianity and the slightly abstracted female nude. The painting evokes old pains that might be lifted to a higher divine whole. The painting is not Christian in any sense, but uses imagery from the collective conscious to evoke hope and health.
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