QUEENS / QUEANS

queen (kwen) n. 1. wife of a king 2. female sovereign 3. foremost beauty 4. reproductive female in a colony of bees 5. playing card 6. male homosexual

quean (kwen) n. 1. a bold brazen woman; hussy 2. a prostitute 3. a girl or unmarried woman

The genesis of this series occurred through the artist’s examination of Nana, the main character in the novel by Emile Zola of the same name. This research-based work addresses cross-cultural identity, sexuality and prostitution, incorporating references to Zola's preliminary notes on the character and various visual appropriations (including Manet's Nana, 1868).

The work moves from portraiture (Nana and other demimondaine) to self portraiture as the artist incorporates images of herself and her own lineage (initially as a reference to the Rougon-Macquart cycle, Zola's 20-novel hereditary study of Nana's family).