ART PRESS The two standing figures in the recent sculpture 'La Pittura', are clothed in tradition - the artist in a dress printed with Vermeer's paintings of women, the model clothed in a dress of sentimental nineteenth century images - yet the sculptures are leaping out of the conventions which confine the woman artist. For Garrard's voice issuing from the TV monitor head of the first figure over a video montage of 'lost' and anonymous women artists, invokes the transcendent union of opposites within, ' ... I am the utterance of my name. I am the whore and the holy one, do not banish me from your sight, and do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing. I am knowledge and ignorance, I am strength and I am fear. I am the one whom. you have scattered, and you have gathered me together. I am the knowledge of my inquiry, and the finding of those who seek after me. I am within ... I am the utterance of my name.'

The text she has adapted from 'The Thunder, Perfect Mind', a 2000 year old gnostic hymn, admits despair and exhilaration, pollution and purity to co-exist at once. Though this text relates to the exalted Sapiential of the Old Testament in which Hokma, the Wisdom of God, speaks in female voice, it refuses to anathematise in the Judaeo-Christian mode. The all inclusiveness of its antithesis, and the forgivingness of its mysticism, make it a characteristic mirror of Rose Garrard's spirit; she has struggled against the sectarianism of some feminist artists, for an encompassing, humane tolerance of difference and an understanding of the Other. Although Garrard lifts off the layers which obscure the person lost in our forgettings, though she has reworked an ecstatic text giving voice to the pre-eminent feminine principle, she never adopts an essentialist position in her recovery of female actions and potential.
Marina Warner, 'Redressing the Balance' NGBK, Berlin 1987

ARTIST'S NOTES Video: Woman artist as her own model, forgotten names, forgotten faces, remembered through the image, through the self portrait. The artist turning to face herself  throughout five hundred years ... the active model banished by mythology ... the subject of her own gaze. Woman as maker of art ... struggling not to clothe herself in the passive model ... discarded by history, but being gathered together again.

'La Pittura The Spirit of Painting Reclaimed' was completed in December 1986, and the life size female figures of artist and model were constructed from two dresses bought in a second-hand clothing shop. The model's dress is made from fabric printed with romantic images of Victorian women in crinolines and parasols walking in picturesque landscapes. However, the dress has a utilitarian cut for everyday maternity wear.The artist's dress is made from fabric printed with reproductions of Vermeer's paintings of working women models, but ironically this fabric is cut into a full length evening-dress with an empire line and frills at the hem.
Rose Garrard 1987

'Conceptual Clothing' Ikon Gallery Birmingham & Harris Museum and Art Gallery Preston
Peterborough City Museum and Art Gallery
Spacex Gallery Exeter
Stoke on Trent City Museum and Art Gallery
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Huddersfield Art Gallery
Cartwright Hall Bradford

Two life size resin and fibreglass figures, one with video monitor head and continuous play video with soundtrack derived from gnostic texts.