Grace Cross
Family Portrait
Family Portrait (Mama)
Oil on Canvas
51 x 76 x 5cm
Family Portrait (Golden)
Oil on Canvas
25,5 x 36 x 3,5cm
Family Portrait (Dada)
Oil on Canvas
51 x 77 x 5cm
Presented in Cross’ daughter Goldie’s playroom, Cape Town

The three family portrait paintings are riffs on language and that prelingual space between word, breath, feeling and identity. As my daughter, Goldie, acquires and learns language, I am constantly amazed at the wonder of words and their poetry in her mouth. The two larger paintings, Mama and Dada, are poetic musings on the repetition and confusion of the acquisition of language that mirrors our development into our new roles as parents. The small Goldie painting reflects my daughter's awakening of self-consciousness and apperception. She is verbally and psychoanalytically grappling with her subjectivity and the recognition of herself. The works are interior reflections of identity forming. It's personal, it's sweet, but also a commentary on the magic of language to transform, to form and unfurl our societal roles. Language and repetition is all about rhythm. The words weave and jive with the paint. The word 'textere', means to weave, the text is semantically and physically weaving the verbal words into the canvas tapestry. I see these paintings as weavings, as textiles of paint, writ in the language of love.