Year of Publication
Art and Visual Studies
This project is a part of a series of paintings/rugs that explore female archetypes in the interest of reclaiming misogynistic tropes to feminist ends. Each piece consists of one painting and one hand-tufted rug that are of a similar figure that comment on the same archetype. This piece specifically explores some of the tenets of the archetypal “hag.” In this instance, she has green skin and dark hair, typical of witch depictions of the last 80 years. But she’s also oddly beautiful and somewhat strangely, uncomfortably sexy. There is something about her that is just left of beautiful: in the painting the Hag has smooth skin and soft hair, but a crooked face, strange smile, and distant, unfriendly eyes even though she is painted in like a classic portrait of a classically beautiful woman. In the fiber piece, she is depicted in a very provocative pose, but has a menacing, simplistic face. The push and pull of strangeness and sexiness, in both mediums, offers different takes on what a “hag” is or how she looks, and how this archetype functions within and around other archetypes of womanhood. And this depiction can function differently in painting and in fiber: in the painting there are references to traditional portraiture, while the fiber piece deals with the feminist history of fiber and rugs as literal objects (objects with are stepped upon and remain in the background of spaces, but in this case is very visible and present). These two mediums are in conversation together, as they both explore the archetype in question in different ways that contrast and compliment each other.
Thompson, Claire, ""Hag" (Diptych)" (2020). Oswald Research and Creativity Competition. 33.