Gilgamesh Weeps

Painting: Gilgamesh Weeps

Gilgamesh Weeps


Gilgamesh Weeps is one in a series of square paintings, made in 1970, which used industrial polyurethane spray cans and stencils on board. At the centre of this painting is a large oval mirror with refracted light and spectrum on its bevelled edges. It sits in a plane of translucent liquid drops below a draped curtain. The mirror reflection suggests human bodies, veins and flesh.

In 1968 the artist had abandoned a signature style in art as representing her identity, in favour of conceptualising "difference"--in this case, the different roles or multiple identities lived by the modern woman. She began an exploration of the mutating complexity of identity to encompass her interdependent social and professional roles in a non-hierarchical practice. Over time she gave names to her identities, referring to them as her multiple Is.

In Gilgamesh Weeps she identifies herself as myth maker. She said, "We need new myths for our times."

"The series used industrial materials and processes, for their expression of the zeitgeist in 1970 (i.e., stencils and spray cans of polyurethane paint on hardboard) and investigated formal means, ( the grid, symmetry, spectrum, square, circle, triangle), while structuring a visual language of signs which would simultaneously reference a different model to the then dominant NZ model of a nationalistic image of the land and birds. The artist situated her research in the field of history, myth and mind/body sciences beginning with "The epic of Gilgamesh" which is considered the first great literature.


1219 x 1219 mm

Te Moana studio, Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand

1970-01-01, 1971-01-01, 1972-01-01, Christchurch, Dunedin


Wellington: artist's home

THE REPRESSED FEMININESpectrumNew myths for our timeMutationMultiple IsIdentityDifferenceART PRACTICE