"I completed a diploma in Fine Arts at Ruth Prowse School of Arts in 2022 and am currently pursuing
Tabitha Short is a young artist whose work is inspired by her interest in systems, such as those found in biology, mathematics and ballet, as well as her experiences with mental health difficulties.
Short finds the idea of “hysteria” (a “medical” diagnosis in the Victorian era) quite humorous, the idea that if a woman is sad or uncooperative she must be suffering from some madness caused by her uterus, is simultaneously deeply tragic, and hilarious. Hysteria is a clear illustration of the way that historically (and currently) society has been quite unkind to those suffering from mental illness. Short plays with this conception of the fragile young woman by painting in watercolours and embroidering on top of those paintings, these are both activities that Jane Austen and her contemporaries might describe an “accomplished” young woman partaking in or that a tragic Victorian heroine might be described as doing compulsively. By combining the two activities and using them to deal with subject matter that has never been considered “ladylike”, a serious consideration of one’s own pain, desires and healing and a preoccupation with patterns, mathematics and humour, Short attempts to rebel against the preconceptions English culture specifically has for the docile damaged woman.
Some of the watercolours that Short uses in her work are the same watercolour pans that her grandfather, a classically trained painter, used for his preparatory studies. Using these same paints to create finished works in a style that Martin Short would almost certainly have disapproved of adds another layer of timid rebellion to Tabitha Short’s work, Martin Short and other deceased patriarchal figures are a much easier target than living ones.
- Ref: Ruth Prowse school of art
2020 - 2022
Artist: TABITHA SHORT
Media: Mixed Media on paper
Price: R 18 000 Framed
Gallery hours: Mon to Fri: 9h30 to 17h00, Sat: 10h00 to 14h00
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60 CHURCH STREET CAPE TOWN 8001, TEL: +27 21 4235309, FAX: +27 21 4249063