Facets of Femininity Series

This series was created at the invitation of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, which was seeking a contemporary response their exhibition, ‘The Blue Bower:Rossetti in the 1860's’, held there in 2005.  Inspired by the format and rich symbolism of Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabrielle Rossetti’s The Blue Bower, The Singh Twins reinterpret the traditional Victorian view of woman in the light of the achievements and personalities of  20th Century female icons. From pop stars to princesses and politicians to ‘saints,’ these works explore different facets of femininity which challenge and update the limited, romanticised and often polarised characterisation of women by Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite movement in general as mysterious, sensual objects of beauty on the one hand (chaste, desirable, dutiful, often vulnerable) and the femme fatale on the other. Individually and collectively these contemporary portraits reflect the multiplicity of attributes which in reality coexist within the complex nature of all that is ‘femininity.’ The result is a presentation of women that the viewer is invited to either love, hate or admire depending on their response to the artists' own, very personal, interpretation.  As an interpretation based largely on observations of media representations, this series of works presents a necessarily stereotypical view of the women they depict , all of whom have influenced 20th century world politics, society and popular culture.