December 2, 2019

Should I Express Emotion and Passion Through Beauty, or Do I Unleash it Viscerally, Naked and Raw?

Katy McKidd Stevenson, 54

‘The Truth’ depicts what happened to me after a recent surgery – after a month of internal bleeding, the scar burst open, blood jetted out and didn’t stop for five hours. It was shocking – blood flooded floors, hit walls, soaked everything. We screamed, we laughed in horror – my daughter filmed me sitting on the toilet while the blood noisily gushed out. When I recovered from the second operation, I marvelled at the recording my daughter had made, I sketched it, and loved the image. I had recently been reading Grayson Perry’s book, in which he said there must be truth in art. This had struck a chord with me and I had questioned myself – my art was narrative, my truth was in there, but filtered through dreamy scenes of girls and wasps. The paintings were beautiful, feminine, reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelites – but my response to this event was visceral, honest, ugly, but perhaps finding a different kind of beauty, in the paint, the textures, the media-handling – and an honest depiction of the human condition. So now – do I express emotion and passion through beauty, or do I unleash it raw, and seek something new?

The Truth, 2019Mixed-Media on Mounting BoardA1