Don’t Look


“I play with ideas of gender and representations of women. I have always been using nudity or exploring the tension between the naked and dressed body. I wish to portray them in a strong, dignified way, not through some soft pose people might expect.”
Sadie Lee

“In this small selection of new works I am expanding on the issues surrounding the realistic depiction of women and how this familiar genre can have the power to provoke and unnerve.
Based around the notion that femininity is still considered the ideal for women in western society, in these paintings I am looking at femininity as a constructed identity heavily reliant on external visual information.
Although influenced and inspired by traditional paintings of women throughout history, I am aware of these painted women as idealised fantasies. The women in my paintings go far beyond the passive status of mere decorative objects.
As their eyes lock with yours and you stand transfixed before them, you cannot help but wonder who they are, where are they and what they want with you. The gestures could be comical: the fist punching through the masculine fly in some pseudo-vaudevillian penis parody; the 1950’s style prim and proper frock hitched up coquettishly to reveal plain, everyday underwear, but the blank staring eyes do not suggest humour, more a vaguely sinister presence. You dare not laugh, just in case.
Does the woman who shields her huge, semi-clad body from your gaze invite or expel you? Has something taken place on the unmade bed, or is it just about to?
These paintings, all based on real women or self-portraits, display appearances or behaviour that are somehow ‘unladylike’. They are also united by a sense of vulnerability, combined uncomfortably with an overtly strong sexual autonomy. By presenting these contradictions as frozen fragments of time I attempt to imply a narrative which the viewer must piece together by asking these questions. In effect the whole experience of viewing becomes a performance in itself in which the audience is actively involved in order to come to their own conclusions. The title of this group of works may well have been: Don’t Just Look”.
Sadie Lee

Mala galerija (Moderna galerija), 14.10. – 24.10.99
Tor.-sob.: 10.00 – 18.00
Nedelja: 10.00 – 13.00

In collaboration with Moderna galerija Ljubljana
With the support of The British Council
Thanks to: Nataša Velikonja & Lesbo

Date and time of event: 
Oct 24th 20:00
Place of event: 
Mala galerija (Moderna galerija Ljubljana)