My figurative paintings refer to real and imagined nightmarish scenarios to explore the female body. Forms and figures emerge from the paint matter that venture between reality and fantasy; traversing moments of mundane everydayness to reveal our fractious relationships between ourselves, our desire and our surroundings. I am interested in collapsing the distinction between subject and object, reality and fantasy, humour and horror. My recent work centres around the idea of how consumerism (shopping) shapes our identity and alters our relationship to our bodies. Body parts and heads are severed, limbs mutate into domestic objects, our bodies consume the commodity and the commodity consumes us. The plastic carrier bag with slogans are a recurring motif and acts as a connection between the figures and as a container of trauma and shared experiences. The bags resemble body innards, placed on the outside like a regurgitation of our insides.
Josephine’s paintings from the outset plunge into a raucous almost typically British sitcom of male female domestic dysfunction. Kitchen sink drama can be applied very literally, the sink, the cooker and washing machine providing a backdrop and boundary demarcation for domestic disputes as well as anthropomorphising into characters in their own right in the paintings.
The imagery is described in raw painterly terms, almost cartoon like, comedic figures counterpointed by aggressive menacing paintwork, I think this combination nicely mirrors the friction in the domestic division of labour in a way that refuses to accept a women’s world of domestic drudgery and male dependency. This is well worn territory and can lead to rather didactic and dry discourse in terms of film and photography where Josephine’s painting has an empathy and warmth that is nuanced and at times makes both male and female protagonists equally culpable.
Marcus Harvey, artist and director of Turps Banana, 2023