Margaret Bowland’s Paintings of Little People and Little Girls

by Jane KenoyerPosted on

The way that Margaret Bowland depicts little girls with their faces painted white, wearing cotton wreaths on their heads or how she paints little people in a grand style that’s reminiscent of Manet, the famous 19th Century French painter, conjure up ideas about deeply rooted beliefs and societal prejudices. Bowland speaks about her work as a reaction to common mainstream belief structures. She identifies this societal ideal as “One must be tall, thin and white. One’s features must be diminutive and regular.” Her heavily symbolic oil paintings depict the opposite side of these typical ideals, yet her figures are portrayed in an idealized and romanticized way. Bowland is continuing to raise awareness within her work regarding her concerns about beauty and what makes up an ideal figure, “Beauty makes sense to me, has weight for me, only when it falls from grace. It starts to matter when it carries damage.”

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