Three Graces, and Voids

The project

Resistance / reparation / visibility / voice / abundance / excess / surface / body

Three Graces, and Voids is a reappraisal of femininity through the prism of the Three Graces from Greek mythology, drawing on art and literary criticism, cultural theory and autobiography. Emblematic of western feminine ideals, what do the Graces elicit and what do they leave unsung. Through direct address, this work of creative nonfiction is a form of communion, a chorus of voices and a contemporary feminist text that proposes an aesthetics of resistance through women’s creative practices.

The project began during the Summer of 2019, as the thesis for my Masters in Writing at Royal College of Art.

It began as a pin-board, and a folder of things on my desktop. A beacon, or light that despite appearances, was not a map, was not burdened with points or truths. Rather, it was a web, a lattice, a gossamer surface, a knot, a loosened braid, an aerated bubble.

The Graces, and their versions and cyphers beckoned me – hopeful? Lost? Desperate? – and I embraced them. And although I was alone at my desk amassing images and texts and thoughts into a final body of – or bodies of – work, it felt choral. People shared their versions and visions and findings of the Graces. I spoke to the Graces, and other women spoke to me, through their practice – Julian of Norwich, Tai Shani, Judy Chicago, Simone Rocha – and I hope I have spoken back to them. As it took shape, two more women – Emily Schofield and Veronica Viacava –  joined me and helped me turn it into a visual, material, object – a modest book – and for a moment, we were graces of another kind.

It began as a seed, and grew. And I grew with it.

In the spirit of growth, the project lives on, regenerating and growing new limbs and follicles and teeth, and as such I will share its breaths and surfaces, episodically, on these pages. They will be original and revised fragments of the text; things will slip, mystify and eventually fade out and new versions will materialise, ideas expanded, conversations generated.

Because this thing is too much. And never enough. Aren’t we all?

Visit the website 3graces.net

Graphic design by Emily Schofield
Photography by Veronica Viacava