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Lilian Back

Not all the roses are perfect


I painted the painting on wood with oil. Crow made from clay and glued on wooden board. Wooden board painted with acrylics and I painted the crow with a thin layer of oilpaint. The arrow I made from wood. 


The work started with me seeing a book in the shelf and thinking ”oh! i want to see what’s inside!” And then I found this painting by Lucian Freud called ”naked woman on a sofa”(1984-85). After that I looked in another book (Rien Poortvliet, Nooan Arkki, 1986) in order to find something more. I found a painting of a dead crow and got more inspiration. (I also painted the crow skeleton from that book). I immediately started planning the painting with the woman and some dead crows on top of her. It feels like I put a lot of my emotions into this painting as well. I didn’t plan to make it very symbolic but as I painted and created I understood what emotions I wanted to show.


The crow on the womans’ shoulders symbolises the feelings of guilt that she is feeling. The crow on her thigh is just a sad crow that has given up. The flying crow is screaming at the woman that she is doing everything wrong and the crow is very angry. Still the woman is just lying there feeling like the screaming crow doesn’t understand her. The woman itself symbolises femininity and just accepting the body as it is. The skeleton crow symbolises loneliness. The roses I didn’t plan at first but I felt like putting some light behind all of this. They symbolise beauty and sensitivity.


I also made a bow and arrow. I made them  both from wood that I found in the forest. (Bow not in pictures). And the whole collection together could have different stories. One could be that the woman gets tired of the crow just shouting at her so in the end she gives up and kills it. Or maybe the shouting crow is angry at the woman who from the first place killed the crows’ family member? Also it can symbolise something else; There’s an arrow in the crows’ heart, and then there are roses in the background of the painting which both symbolises love.


There are so many other ways you could read my artwork and every individual reads it differently. 

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