The Rape and Suicide of Lucretia – 2010

Painting addressing the issue of suicide
Oil on canvas. H84 x W61 cm

In this image I have addressed the issue of suicide. I backtracked to the moment of decision rather than depict the actual or impending act as most previous renditions have done. We are all often in a state of despair or at crossroads. Lucretia is depicted unclothed and has, in her desolation roughly shaved off her hair and in this dishevelled state has lost one shoe. As props I used an actual ancient bronze short sword from (modern day Iran) Luristan (circa 1200 BCE), as well as a single shoe borrowed from my partner Kira. A sensible flat shoe made by a new Zealand footwear company then call “Kumfs” (now Ziera). When Kira noticed her shoe on Lucretia she exclaimed, “that’s my Kumf!

I took great care in the arrangement of the hands and the positioning of the knife, which are awkwardly positioned and not quite what one would expect if the decision had been finalised. She is also positioned seated well forward but hardly supported by the simple but slightly ornate chair.

Although she had indicated to her father and brother that she was going to suicide, she is portrayed hesitating at the edge of the abyss.