Cross’ latest series, Atlas is a Woman, are richly painted canvases that investigate the psychic and physical weight that South African women carry with them in our current society. In these canvases the female figures are laden and burdened by the mounds they carry on their backs. In a role reversal of the Greek story of Atlas, these female figures carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. The weight signifies the domestic work of motherhood and the emotional weight of care that so often goes unseen and unvalued in our patriarchal culture. Following the 2019 groundswell movement against gender based violence, which is so rife in our culture, these paintings are a personal and political response to the power that women wield. This power needs to be represented and witnessed; because women hold the psychic core of our culture together, through their little and big gestures of carrying. Atlas is a Sex Worker is a celebration of women using their bodies to bear the weight of desire for all of us.
Acquired from Smith Studio, Cape Town, South Africa

December 2019

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