The Homemaker


The Homemaker. 1987. Ink. 43cm x 65cm.

The image of domestic bliss, my neighbor, Terry’s wife was good-looking, genuinely friendly, a great cook and worked part time in the village post office. Moving from bedsit central in the heart of London to the pastoral patchwork of villages and farms dotting the landscape of Buckinghamshire County, I could not help but perceive immediately, the stark contrast in lifestyles. In most cases, the village men would trek to the city daily by train while the womenfolk catered to kids, the house, and nightly dinner preparation. So, for the most part, I’d meet the guys daily at the station and the wives at the weekends around the village. To this day, I really don’t know why I moved there from Central London in the 1980s.

In this red and black ink drawing, I imagined Terry’s wife as The Homemaker, hanging out the clothes to dry on a blustery, temperamental but otherwise typical southern English morning. In some quest for local authenticity I was careful to draw only a variety of windblown oak leaves that you would genuinely find in the region. I think an errant ink spill was responsible for my adoption of the strange jacket pattern, which I adorned with symbols of domesticity, such as those you’d find on the laundry labels. A woman who lived around the corner did my laundry, just sayin’, but I meticulously copied the little instruction labels for this rendering.