Woman in progress is a self-portrait in which I am wearing my nan’s nightdress. It is one of the only things I have of hers. In her late 40s, when she was not much older than me, my nan having suffered from both schizophrenia and epilepsy, was placed in a nursing home to live out her days.
This work began as a reflection on trauma and the unspoken ritual of healing through needlework. I gathered found embroideries by unknown makers and appliqued them onto the portrait as well, in recognition of the universal voice of women that comes through making. By the end, I was surrounded in a warm embrace by all the unknown creators as well as my nan.
Nicole O’Loughlin is an artist currently based in Hobart. She graduated from the Hobart School of Art in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in printmaking. As part of her undergraduate degree she undertook a year-long study exchange at the Madrid School of Art at the Universidad de Complutense, Spain. In 2015, she completed BFA (First Class) Honours at the Tasmanian College of the Arts in Printmaking.
O’Loughlin is a current PhD candidate at the School of Creative Arts and Media, Hobart. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections.
Medium: Hand embroidery on vintage linen
Size: 90 x 90 cm