One Amongst the Crowd

A painting. A land is centre to frame, holding opera glasses. A blurred crowed can be seen behind.
One Amongst the Crowd. Lily, age 17. Reworking Manet Exhibition 2023 | The Courtauld. Image credit: Finn Arschavir and Tasmiya Tasmi.

Lily, age 17

Acrylic paint on canvas board

My work reflects the roles and power of women, both in Manet’s time and in my own contemporary experience. My inspiration came from the woman reflected in the mirror in Manet’s painting holding a pair of opera glasses.

I made the background of my work faded, fluid, and impressionistic by adding water to the paint. I wanted to draw attention to the woman’s hand and opera glasses, in contrast to the reality of Manet’s time, when women were often overlooked and underestimated. This is still relevant today; many women are often disregarded. Yet the opera glasses can also be used to the benefit of the woman, allowing her the freedom to observe others, manipulating her invisibility to her own advantage, showing the subtle power of women.