Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf | Statement
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Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf

Studio shot by Barnaby Newton


The female form acts as a bearer of meaning in my work, which draws on the historical link between the young woman and mortality, and explores the interconnected nature of death, creation and a search for meaning.


Drawing on traditional Vanitas motif’s, here the young woman becomes a symbol for the fleeting nature of human life as well as creative fertility and potential. Youth and beauty allude to their natural counterpart of death and decay, coupled with the idea of a woman’s increased awareness of her own mortality, due, historically, to the dangers of childbirth, and more currently, the awareness that she faces a loss of visibility long before her actual loss of life.


I’m interested in the link between women, creation and dying, but also how this relates to the creative process in itself where, just as the young woman holds both forces of life and death within herself symbolically, these oscillating opposites of activity and passivity, chaos and control, are a vital component in the act of making art. Whilst painting, I’m often aware that as much as I have to consciously manifest a mark or an image, I also have to surrender to and accept moments of chaos, allowing ideas or images to be destroyed in order for something new to be born.


The question of meaning emerges as an essential part in this cycle of life, death and creation, in which the experience of our own mortality, and the transient nature of life play a vital role in the search for meaning and purpose, and almost always provide the fuel for the desire to create.