Antiope by Mary Jane Ansell
31.5 x 39.5 in. (80 x 100.3 cm)
Oil on Aluminum
Available through RJD Gallery
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Mary Jane Ansell: In “Antiope” I imagined a host of a new royalty, a tribe of people embracing their own powers, their crowns and scepters, not hewn from the gold and gems that signify monarchies and commerce, but instead taken from the natural world, and showing their reverence to nature by featuring natural tokens – and relics – from their spirit animals. Her pose echoes the swagger portraits of the 17th and 18th century. She wears white, denoting strength through peace, and her fur a synergy with nature.

I’m celebrating the nobility of the individual, rather than the typically lauded upper echelons of society which in many ways we have lost faith in. She is not meant to be a literal character but an archetype, her name, derived from “against” and “voice” is my homage to the women who speak up, those dissenting voices of change that seem, thankfully ever increasing in number.

I’ve always had a passion for Greek mythology, and the name Antiope roughly translates as a confronting voice, which felt perfect for this character especially as my young model is currently beginning a very promising career as a singer… a synergy was clearly taking place as she sat!

Antiope reflects the power, creativity, and gentleness within her, and potentially within us all.

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