Genesis (detail), pencil, 2012

 

Genesis responds to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Undistinguishable pencil marks derive from frottage of the texture of wallpaper. With high resolution scanning, foreign forms manifest into familiar shapes and recognisable casts. The inchoate figures represent the trapped women within the changeable wallpaper design and echo the protagonist’s transformation into one of them. (see also Descent)

Perkins Gilman wrote the story to challenge the medical discourse of the time after experiencing a near brush with insanity. Suffering from mental health issues she was prescribed the ‘rest cure’ by her doctor only for her condition to rapidly deteriorate. Eventually she abandoned the treatment and was restored to a sound mind.

Genesis was created for and exhibited in The Yellow Wallpaper at Cob Gallery.