Oil on board
1110 x 640mm
Born in Timaru, Fahey graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1951 and first exhibited paintings in 1952. Marriage to a prominent psychiatrist and looking after three daughters resulted in certain periods of her career being more productive than others. She has worked continuously as a painter since 1978. In 1965 she moved with her family to Auckland and in 1980 received a QEII Arts Council Grant to travel to America to research the Women’s Art Movement. In 1984 she was a participant in the Auckland City Art Gallery’s Anxious Images exhibition.
Fahey is one of those artists encouraged by the Women’s Movement in its earliest years in New Zealand to make unashamed use of her own domestic environment as a subject for painting. Her works are noteworthy for the skill with which they capture subtle moments of domestic psychological tension. She has described the home as the battlefield of the psyche. Here her daughter Alex is seen in passive-resistant conflict with her father, Dr Fraser McDonald. The ironic use of undistinguished still life objects including a placemat made from cut off tie ends, contrasts with the significant art objects used in still lifes by artists such as Frances Hodgkins or Rita Angus. Fahey revels in what Liz Eastmond has called “the chaotic tidal wave of domestic clutter.”
Provenance: Purchased in 1972 by the painter Doris Lusk from a Christchurch Group Show. Following Lusk’s death in 1992 it was auctioned at Webb’s and purchased for the Fletcher Challenge Art Collection.
Jacqueline Fahey’s Suburbanites, New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 1 August 2019 to 1 November 2019 (toured)
Jacqueline Fahey: Say Something!, curated by Felicity Milburn, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, 22 November 2017 to 11 March 2018
Jacqueline Fahey: Portrait in the Looking Glass: Paintings from 1957–1995, Fisher Gallery (now Te Tuhi), Tāmaki Makaurau, 26 April to 26 May 1996