Naomi Munuo

I have been creating still life paintings for the past thirty years or so since my late teens. As part of my still life scenes my work incorporates sculptural figures, crafts and plants or flowers. In July this year I began a new series of acrylic paintings. The sizes vary from miniature to large scale. My focus has been on a satsuma vase which I inherited as part of a collection of artefacts. It had been patched back together with glue after being broken into many pieces. Despite the obvious cracks it retains a real beauty. The decorative nature of the vase and the fact it tells a story, on the panels and through its own history, has inspired me greatly. I have worked on capturing the form of the vase and the colours that surround the main panel in deep blues and gold. I find it fascinating that whatever decorative background environment I place it in, it always seems to remain dominant. I acknowledged the story on my satsuma vase but rather than copy it I decided to work on my own narrative. The vase seemed a perfect platform for the stories that have been unfolding in my own life this year. Back in March I went to rescue two of my daughters from London. They both work in the arts, theatre and live music. It was becoming clear that both of the venues they were working in were going to close and they would be without work and the lease on their flat was about to run out. We managed to get them back home to Suffolk just days before the first big lockdown. Being very motivated both of my daughters set to use their new found time writing, plays and songs. I have been so impressed by how they have remained upbeat and focused on their journey. My daughters have inspired the portraits on my vases. At first glance the vases and decor represent luxury and beauty but on deeper analysis they reflect how these beautiful young women, with their lives ahead of them have been helplessly trapped in the time bubble this pandemic has caused. I hope like the cracks in my satsuma vase they will be able to break free soon enough and continue to live their lives and pursue their dreams.