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My work is inspired by found photographs of young girls and women posed in formal clothes and settings, frequently holding or surrounded by political or religious artefacts. I am interested in the process of domestication and conditioning which the sitters seem to be subjected to and in which they can appear patient, content or quietly mutinous as they wait and hope to become themselves. Although the paintings I make are often set in an earlier era, the issues they address remain relevant today. The portraits I paint are not done from life but are based on an image of life captured in a moment in time.
Renée Spierdijk, Dutch Girl Under Grey Sky, 2019. Oil on canvas.
‘The Cambridge Show’ brings together work by twenty-two artists who live or work in and around Cambridge. Showcasing a cross-section of the artistic community operating in the local area, from photography to performance, the exhibition will explore these artists’ diverse practices, and some of the themes and issues that they are engaging with right now.
Renée Spierdijk, Dutch Girl Under Grey Sky, 2019. Courtesy the artist.
Renée Spierdijk in her studio. Photo: Julia Hedgecoe.