Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Helen Redman

Wilting Blooms

Wilting Blooms

Helen Redman. Wilting Blooms, 2001.

The glasses on my ever-observing eyes are now skull sockets and I'm facing my own mortality. Playing with "memento-mori" and transformation, I am both wilting and still red with bloom. The bulb of my heart signifies regeneration and the agency of my life as an artist is again declared.

While this portrait begins with a literal look at myself in the mirror it soon takes on an imagined life of its own. Dualities of humor and fear, beauty and decay, inside and outside, are part of the hybrid mix in my aging self-portraits. To be honest in our age seems a feminist strategy in a culture that teaches us denial and self-rejection. I do not want the inevitable and natural changes in my face and body made malevolent. As women we need to find our own images of aging; "our bodies, ourselves" applies as much, if not more so, than it has all along the life span.


gaze, aging, bones, death, heart, regeneration, nature, hybridity, self-image, memento-mori, life cycles, eye, skeleton, crone, drawing, self-portrait

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Helen Redman Pioneer of Feminist Art

San Diego, CA


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