This piece of work was inspired by a documentary which I saw about remote societies in North Africa.
Within this group of villages there is a huge bazaar held once a year which sees villagers from miles around travelling to enjoy this very special event.
It is a particularly special event for 14 year old girls. Their whole life is a preparation for this day. They are bathed in the river and their faces are elaborately decorated to create a mask-like effect. Divorce is acceptable in this society but women who are divorced have a special make-up and clothing to mark them out as divorcees.
The excitement of the girls was so moving and when they arrived at the bazaar and saw the colors, smelt the spices and perfumes, and felt the fabrics and heard the music and the chatter the escalation in their joy was heartbreaking.
This is their one big lifetime event. Their one trip out from their village. After marriage they will return to live as virtual slaves to their husband, his friends and their home which is as basic as any African village dwelling you might imagine. Women are segregated from the men and only really have any time with them if their husband wants sex. Not much joy for a 14 year old.
I think I would divorce regularly so I got to get out from time to time and I like to think that many women do.
This is a framed collage with fabric and paint. The frame is distressed and dark bronze/gold in colour
Paper fabric paint
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