I Wanted It To Be Perfect
Chrissie Richards is a professional artist living in Brightlingsea on the North Essex coast in England whose work draws on her life experience. “I wanted it to be perfect” is an evocative painting that she created in 2018 while she and her family were going through a difficult time. Richards created the painting intuitively – by working with collage and paint and putting them on canvas allowing the narrative to come out as she engaged with her materials. The final creation was a result of her thoughts and experience intermingling with her artistic work.
Richards’ painting expresses the hidden load of motherhood – the desire for the lives of our children to be perfect and to be perfect mothers ourselves all the while juggling many responsibilities and carrying the majority of the mental load of the loved ones.
Richards comments on what this painting represents to her:
“In this piece the mother is dressed in pink and wearing a necklace, to the outside world all appears well, but on her back is a backpack and that is weighing her down and around her head is a black cloud, the word ‘perfect’ has almost disappeared, she tries to hold the child but he is slipping from her grasp. So I guess this painting was an expression of what it was like to try and hold things together when you feel as if your world is falling apart.”
This beautiful painting speaks of the eternal struggle of motherhood: trying to keep your identity while doing the best you can for your child; balancing femininity and the “self” with the ever-present responsibility of caring for another being.
Feature Image: Christopher Luther, On Unsplash, Creative Commons
Body Image: Chrissie Richards, Used with artist’s permission