My ideas are a little difficult to articulate at the moment. I’ve got two ideas in my mind, one is based on flesh, movement and myself and daughter, the other is tying to the still life/vanitas idea and linking that also to motherhood. I’m considering whether the two can be combined into one project in a complimentary fashion. Using the work of Mia Dudek and Ilona Langbroek shown below as inspiration I’m considering whether the two could be brought together through the use of colour.

Vanitas Ideas

Paper Chess Piece (Queen) Toppled over (most powerful piece on the board, but fragile and knocked off her game)

Challice with spilt milk

Candle – time and death. Different lengths, one half burnt the other new.

Eggs? Fertility and Creation. Source of Life. A universal symbol of promise and potential. Broken egg shells – easily hurt/sensitive or broken eggs represent unfulfilled potential and disappointment. Whereas empty shells have been used up to their potential. Empty egg shells are a fantastic omen. They have been transformed into delicious pancakes or a chicken, whatever! Empty, used egg shells are symbol of transformation, and potential fulfilled. They are a reminder to use all your resources to the best of your ability!

White floury loaf of bread – nourishment/spiritual nourishment – perhpas going mouldy?

White rose – new beginnings, everlasting love, rebirth – also death.

WHITE – absence of all colour OR sum of all colour (condtradiction of motherhood) – represents both birth and death, rites of passage and initiation. Also whitewashing something to pretend it didn’t exist.

White birthday cake with candles? – celebration and passing of time

Balloon (letting go, childhood)


Torn stuffed toy – stuffing out – childhood

Cotton wool

Milk Teeth – time passing, loss of innocence, development.

Mirror – reflects truths

Knife – betrayal, deception, martyrdom

Stitching – patience, detail, repetition. Needle & Thread – To find harmony or strike a balance between conflicting forces, interests. Needles – They sew, stitch, attach, mend, create.  They are strong (some are even unbending) and in the right hands, they are a tool that can mend the tapestry of mind, emotion, body and life. “Finding a needle in a haystack”

Scales – judgement and balance – such fundamental concepts regarding the maternal experience

Petunia Flowers – resentment, anger and comfort with being with someone

White Petunia

While black petunias mostly symbolize negative and rebellious emotions, white ones express purity, spirituality, and innocence. They may also symbolize trust and dignity, so their meaning will largely depend on your relationship with the recipient. Since they denote purity and innocence, they are commonly used as decorations and gifts in weddings and other religious ceremonies.

Pink Petunia

Pink petunias represent femininity and gentleness. They are also usually related to themes like motherly love and compassion. This is a perfect gift to almost any woman in your life as they perfectly represent women and their wonderful energy.

Baby’s Breath Flower everlasting love, new babies & innocence

  • The white Baby’s breath flower is a symbol of unity, innocence and spirituality, which goes perfectly with the symbolic meaning of this flower in general.

The queen (♕,♛) is the strongest piece in the game of chess

The Vanitas scene I’ve been thinking of reminded me of the work of Laura Letinsky. It has a very smiliar idea and feel to it. Albeit she has used more colour. The mood and lighting are reminiscent of the Vanitas paintings I’ve researched and the objects are somewhat similar to some of the ones I’ve been thinking about using in my work.


If I’m going to tie the two strands of work together visually, then I need to think about the colours I use in both in order for them to sit well along side each other as a complete body of work. Working with the fleshy tones I intend to use with the portraiture work and poentially the greens of the still life or the whites of the Vanitas I started to try and visualise the colour palette I might want to work with.