Again I wasn’t expecting it, but I came across lots more women waiting to tell their story in the museums of Rome. These were statues in the Capitoline Museum, the Baths of Diocletian and the Palazzo Massimo.
Some faces were emptily ‘classical’. But many were strong and challenging, some seemed haunted, worried or oppressed. The sense of unease was heightened as most had had their noses knocked off.
When I got home I painted them on pale wood, with a different palate and tried to find a way of evoking the marble. Again, I kept going – painting and sanding – until each woman looked back and talked to me.
This time I knew their names – they were on the labels at the museum. So I could look up their history – some were wives and mothers of Emperors but had then been divorced, murdered, banished.