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Rose Turner

Hunter School of the Performing Arts

Artwork title
Milk and honey: boys don’t cry
HSC year
2006
ARTEXPRESS year
2007
Expressive form
Drawing
Artist’s statement

By placing the male form, in the metaphoric state of adolescence, in an environment with female connotations – the bathroom – I hoped to challenge cultural images of masculinity and femininity. Post-modernism allows for images of 'classic’ gender roles to be readily available. Milk and honey: boys don’t cry is an effort to challenge an artistic unbalance regarding male representation in the history of art. Working on the notion of being quietly subversive, Milk and honey: boys don’t cry is a mirror opposite to works that empower the male voyeur, challenging audience expectations and responses according to personal history. The aural dimension of the work saturates the audience in the 'environment’, creating a strong sense of intimacy.


Collection connections

The intimate act of bathing has been a favoured subject for a number of 19th and 20th century artists. Analyse the strategies that Rose Turner, Brett Whiteley and Edgar Degas have used to establish a feeling of intimacy in their works. Consider the relationship between the human form and the bath. Describe how the bath creates a ‘frame within a frame’ and the way it determines the composition of the image in each of these artworks. Examine how each of the artists uses line in their work and in what ways line can suggest the qualities and sensation of water. Consider the role of the audience in viewing these works.