@afrobetty’s family are from Papua New Guinea, she is a strong black voice and an advocate for black rights and self-respect. She stares at an “english” rose, unimpressed. The rose is large and kind of in her face, it’s brash. It’s also beautiful. I was inspired to paint the rose as a balance to Betty’s calm face and her resplendent afro, an appropriate beautiful reflection of her.
[It’s interesting how we photograph people in proximity to plants and flowers, to make them look more attractive; and it works. Perhaps that’s because we know that it’s “right” to be out in nature, and being there makes us feel healthy, and look healthy.]
Betty is already beautiful (and she knows it), she doesn’t need a flowering plant to make her more beautiful. This image is more of a stand-off; an uneasy balance. There are beauty and rich historic traditions in both cultures and they each demand respect.
Drawn and painted in acrylic inks and paint, on a cradled reinforced mdf panel, this piece is 60.5 x 43cm, and about 1cm deep with a white-painted edge. Ready to hang.