One summer Winston Churchill's magnificent 88 acre estate, Chartwell, hung sturdy swings in the trees. How could I resist? I gave them a go and had so much fun I began bringing friends there to hang out with me. Mostly women friends, along with the occasional dog.

 

What struck me, as I delighted in our play, was how rare it is to see grown women at play. This got me thinking about an exhibition of women kicking up our heels. I'm blessed to have close friends all over the world. While it's unrealistic to expect them all to come to England, I hope to photograph every woman I love on a swing.

 

Like most of my projects, this is work-in-progress.

I've always felt like an immigrant. People usually take me for a foreigner, never more so than when I'm 'home' in California. In England I get asked if I'm Canadian. In Oregon people say I have an English accent. In Mexico they think I'm a Spaniard and the French like greeting me in German. This might be why I have a global perspective on the world. Or maybe it's because many in my well-travelled tribe are immigrants too. Not belonging makes us see things differently.

 

It took me a long time to appreciate I'm a woman who sees things differently. Once I figured it out, I wasn't sure what to do about it. Always challenging convention gets tedious and isn't particularly inspirational. Fortunately, I'm blessed to share life with a tribe of best beloveds who also see things differently. From here, it isn't much of a stretch to work on collections showcasing some of my favourite themes.

Have you ever noticed how remarkably similar a blue whale's eye is to our eye? Uncanny. I'm trying to remember when I first noticed this. I've always had a strong attraction to whales. I probably watched a documentary film about these mythical creatures and at some point thought, That could be my eye. The graphic on the left is my eye matched with a blue whale's eye. No Photoshop. Just two single eyes, placed side-by-side. See what I mean? Leaves no doubt where we come from and why the sea continues to call us home.

 

I'm currently at work on a collection titled LIFE, inspired by a close friend who lost her daughter. I enjoy taking a single word that resonates with me and experimenting with it graphically. Cross out a single letter in LIFE and it becomes lie. Often LIFE feels like a lie, particularly when we lose someone we love. Grief absorbs LIFE, draining it of all colour and juiciness, turning it into a daily drudgery of endurance.

 

We connect LIFE to all sorts of other words making new words like lifeblood, lifeless and lifeline. The truth is LIFE isn't half as much fun as we hope it will be. This revelation from a lifelong optimist, no less.

 

All canvases made using 12 colour UV pigment ink, on 100% cotton Artists Canvas, hand stretched with Museum Quality, 1-1/2-inch stretcher bars. Kindly see YES page for size, price and turnaround details. 

Click above image for One Woman Show.

Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe