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by Lisa Scrimgeour

The painted, distorted and deformed creations become mere whispers of their former identities, exposing them to prejudice and stigmatised perceptions by releasing them as broken identities; these women are no longer idealised women, their human exteriors no longer conform to their contemporaries. They have become the disengaged and ‘faceless’ of societal culture. The only way in which the viewer can penetrate through these disguises is to look into the eyes, in which they try to contemplate the vulnerability, trying to understand the image before them. In this way the paintings are seductive, working on the viewer to convey the alienation that exists within it; the silent stillness of paintings echoes the striking loneliness of the figures, each contained within their frame. It is our expectations of what a painting of a portrait should be that aid me in my journey to discover why we assign problematic identities. Viewers are not able to interpret the person into a fitting social context and so cannot apply it to normal rules of the assignment of identities therefore it becomes alienated. Although alienation does occur I would argue that art beholds expectations of hidden meaning and therefore the viewer may try and see past the alienation, trying to understand and thus the possibility of questioning their own negative views towards the figures can emerge.