21 x 30 cm | 8 x 11 in
'Jennifer', original mixed media painting, framed. "This series begins to examine the effects of illness on personal image and identity through a study of three female alopecia sufferers (alopecia is a medical condition where hair is lost from the head or body, sometimes to the extent of baldness). My concern with female beauty, image and identity has lead to an interest in the way in which the 'self' can be extended and expressed through the addition and alteration of a multitude of objects to the body, objects which then almost become an inseparable part of the individual itself. One way that women in western culture often âaddâ to themselves as individuals, is by expressing their personality and style through their hair â a particularly important part of the body as it is one of the few aspects of our natural physiology that we actually have the power to alter. There are as many different hairstyles as there are people on earth, and each is laden with itâs own meaning; worn one way, another, or not at all. These meanings are inescapably bound up to our personal identity and the way that we define ourselves. Most importantly hair is something through which a woman can enhance and express her femininity. This series of works investigates what happens when a woman loses her hair â one of her primary outlets for defining herself as a female, and what importance prostheses can take on for these individuals. Is there a change in the way that sufferers relate to themselves, and to these new objects now that certain choices have been removed?"
Fontaine-Wolf is an artist of great technical ability, tact and an instinct so sure and refined that her work can afford to be as much about what she leaves out as what she gives existence to in the final work. A fine balance between the extremes of the photo-realistic and the expressionist; polished fullness and the flatness of a blank canvas, the resulting paintings retain the rawness of a work that seems to have been born in front of you. This dialectic between the tamed and the wild finds its thematic echo in the notion of femininity and the expectations of beauty that Wolf presents and evaluates.