Elaine Thomas
Stage Sets
paintings 1982-1985

Femmes fatales 1983, oil and acrylic on canvas, 51 x 36 cm
Hornets nest 1982, oil on canvas, 20 x 14 in
Inflatable floosies 1983, oil and acrylic on canvas, 41 x 31 cm
Madonna 1983, oil on canvas, 20 x 14 in
Making whoopee 1983, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in

The crowd paintings were followed by a series of small group paintings, picking up the themes of predation, celebration, beauty, ugliness and sexual power. These were directly influenced by Sienese paintings, which I studied intensely on various visits to Italy, attracted by their primitive qualities, strong narrative and directness. The paintings I produced at this time were deliberately small, and drew upon devices such as predellas and rotundas which I appropriated during my visits to museums and churches in Italy.

Predella Peep Show 1983-1984, oil on canvas, each 12 x 60 in

Detail images:

As the paintings evolved, many of the themes emerging in the pencil drawings created close to this time became evident and the characters became like inflatable, multi-limbed, india rubber people playing their part in a stage set.

A Nudge A Wink 1985, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in
Once bitten twice shy 1985, oil on canvas, 41 x 31 cm
Deep Frieze 1985, oil on canvas, 45 x 97 cm
Allure 1985, oil on canvas, 36 x 46 cm