Oil on canvas
1815 x 1215mm
Jude Rae was born in Sydney and was educated at the University of Sydney 1976–1980 and graduated from the N.S.W Institute of the Arts with a Diploma in 1984. She completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Canterbury in 1992 and continued living in Christchurch until 1995 when she moved to Auckland. She has described her paintings of cloth as evoking memories of the hem of her mother’s skirt, the sheets of her parents’ bed, veils, dust sheets, funerary shrouds, curtains, bandages, fragments of the Virgin’s roles, the canvas and screens.
She paints from within an academic tradition where for centuries, mastering the depiction of drapery was a sign of virtuosity and a symbol of civilised life. Rae reworks this approach in the context of recent French feminist theory which is concerned with the representation of women through language and visual forms. In her paintings the drapery carries a seductive quality which both obscures and displays an absent body. As Julia Kristeva claims, “a woman in something that cannot be represented, something that is not said, something above and beyond nomenclatures and ideologies.”