In this painting, I have attempted to convey, in the “quilted” background, a sense of water, in this case, seawater, even though the creature in this painting – which is based on a fancy goldfish – is never seen in the sea, rarely seen on quilts, and as a rule, only seen in aquariums or fishbowls.
A fortunate fish, lucky fish, would spend his life in a lake or pond or an ocean and live the life that a fish was meant to live. The fish that are bred by man are engineered to live in confined spaces and never know what it is to live free. They haven’t been designed to life free, though; they’ve been designed to live an artificial life for the pleasure of human beings, designed and produced to provide something lovely for someone else.
In many ways, this Captive Beauty is a metaphor for the historic treatment of women. Not that women haven’t been out in the real world, heaven knows they have and for centuries, and heaven knows, too, that in addition to the burdens of bearing children, working in the workplace while being paid less than men and being valued less than men, they have also been expected to provide men with pleasures both visual and physical. Women are, in a sense, captive in their own bodies.