Illustrations by Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan paints self-portraits in which she is eternally hiding behind and searching within vibrant, patterned textiles and luscious, green plants. The Australian artist is inspired by her own “rural-idyll” childhood and the “internal longing of the 19th century novel.” Her characters express these investigations through a sentiment of both innocent play and anxious isolation. Forests and flowers, dresses and blankets become extensions of her characters’ physical and psychological beings. By always concealing the women’s faces, Rohan relies on body language to convey the characters’ emotional states. For example, some characters are seen from a birds-eye view, curled with their heads burrowed in patchwork quilts. Others thrash and dance; the movement causing the women’s outer dresses to become indistinguishable from their physical forms.

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