|Ruth Angel Edwards 2013|
I came to be in the painting in a very informal way. Last summer, my friend Ele Cockerill (the one with the bucket) sent me a text to say that Ruth was looking for subjects on which to base a painting. I'd seen Ruth playing in a band called Covergirl and another called Yola Fatoush, and she is part of a scene of young artists, queers and musicians that has supported my own band. I didn't know she was a painter. We arranged to meet up with some other people I know a bit, and she explained what she was looking for. This would be a large-scale painting that referenced women's communities, back-to-the-land lesbian separatism, the physicality of building something yourself. She took some photographs of a group of us looking as though we were working and making something. That was that.
|Michigan Dykes by Lynn Levy, 1982|
Andrews-Hunt, C. (1983) Images of Our Flesh, Seattle: The Fat Avengers.
|detail by Ruth Angel Edwards|
This painting references a feminist past, and a present compellingly. I am probably the oldest one in the picture, maybe the only one to have had first hand experience of second wave feminist land-based organising in the 1980s. Many of my politics and values were established in that period, but I am also critical of it; it was often a terrible time in feminism for queers like me, for trans people, for people of colour. The painting represents a lesbian feminist utopia in some ways, but I feel that my critical presence undermines that somewhat. My boyfriend is out of the frame, for example, but was there when the reference photographs were taken, and is also part of this social group. I hope the inclusion of me enables younger feminists to resist adopting the more problematic aspects of vintage fundamentalist feminism unchecked, and to develop more progressive politics.
|Pinky by Sadie Lee|