Claire Brewster creates portraits that embody the psyche and emotion of women and with that the intrinsic layers of history and politics. The journey of a woman is encapsulated. There are many uniting themes in women’s lives. Whatever culture or race, from childhood to womanhood the female body goes through physical rites of passage whether public or private, ceremonial or not and all that entails in terms of body politics and sexualisation. However, in these portraits we do not see the body itself, instead heads and hands are disembodied and the female direct gaze – or more often a stare, holding the viewer – bold and sometimes accusatory. But also looking out into the world – gazing outward instead of inward. Expressive hands cautiously creep in – wringing one another, touching or cupping a face, gnawing at a nail nervously, giving away the anxiety or unease felt within.