Now settled in Timaru, with a studio in the former billiard room of her big old house, Cordeaux embarked on a new series of experimental works. She writes:
Through painting I explore the many challenges women confront and overcome. A rude comment, suggesting my ‘use by’ date had passed, inspired my current series, “Old Bags”.
Wool packs are large, strong bags for shorn fleeces. At the wool store, they are sliced open so a fleece sample can be pulled out for testing. The gash is then stitched up. When the packs are too worn they are often sold as useful bags for gardeners’ or builders’ rubbish. They seemed ideal canvases for my series of paintings about the amazing resilience of women.
Despite age and all sorts of mutilation, we are still capable of useful contributions to society. And we can express great joy in just being alive. I use a restricted palette of colours, a challenge in itself - to make each work individual, just as each woman is an individual with something to offer to the world.
Twenty large-scale works later, Cordeaux completed the series with a collaborative painting. She describes it:
I was inspired by the Indian Holi Festival of Colours to create a final work for my "Old Bag" series of paintings. Holi is a day to forgive, look ahead and celebrate as a community, with colours.
On Valentine's Day 2016, I invited 8 women friends to celebrate their lives by taking part in this art work, "Colour Run".
I supplied the canvas – a used wool pack opened completely flat, exposing all its wrinkles, lumps, holes and stitched-up repairs.
The paint was from the last of the tins I had used in my series of works.
My friends had one hour to do whatever they liked to make the painting – to feel as free and happy as when they were children playing. And they did!
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