Jacqueline Fahey

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1929

Mother and daughter quarrelling

  • 1977
  • Oil and collage on board
  • Purchased 1983
  • 1275 x 665mm
  • 83/18

For the exhibition Jacqueline Fahey: Say Something! (22 November 2017 – 11 March 2018) this work was displayed with the following label:

'When Mum first told me not to outstrip my sisters, I felt incensed by her lack of understanding, especially when she was so creative herself. She later decreed that I must devote myself to my children and Fraser; I could no longer put myself first. And so it continued, a futile struggle. Deeply disturbing, and very common between mothers and daughters throughout history. Mothers, out of fear, are determined to confine their daughters, daughters determined to find meaning in life. Genetic matter is repeated again and again, as suggested by the Persian carpet, which rises up to compete with the genetic matter pulsing out of our heads. In the mirror my more compassionate alter ego watches, appalled at my lack of control' - Jacqueline Fahey.

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Brought to light, November 2009- 22 February 2011

    ‘Art should come from what an artist knows about life,’ Jacqueline Fahey has said, ‘and if what a woman knows is not what a man knows, then her art is going to have to be different.’ Challenging assumptions both about women’s lives and about appropriate artistic subjects, the paintings Fahey created between 1969 and 1981 offer a compelling commentary on the domestic drama and emotional realities experienced by women in middle-class New Zealand family life. Here, the fragmented composition symbolises the divisions that arose between two generations of women (the artist and her mother) during the early years of the women’s liberation movement.