Barbara Waterman Peters
The last number of years I have concentrated almost exclusively on my women series (MWS). It has developed from very personal concerns about family dynamics depicted in a surreal vocabulary to less personal general relationships conveyed in a somewhat naturalistic manner.
Central to the newer work is a mystical, timeless environment that is vaguely unsettled, dark, or claustrophobic although the landscape is obviously Kansas. Cloudy and often windswept, this setting provides a mysterious element in the narratives. That they are narratives is a function of their being figurative.
Standing alone or in groups these figures (so far always female) are involved in some sort of event, but what that is, or what each individual’s role is, is unclear. Interpreting their roles, relationships, and actions becomes the solving of a puzzle whose ultimate meaning slips away. Sometimes one person will look out at the viewer thus pulling him/her into the action.
Interestingly, throughout the years, the figures have ceased to seem fearful, but are on the verge of a new stage of being. Exploring women’s changing place in the world is an endlessly fascinating exercise.
The crows, already heavily laden with symbolism, here serve as messengers, advisors, or protectors.