Self Portrait - Celia Paul
'Painting is the language of loss. The scraping off of layers of paint, again and again, the rebuilding, the losing again. Hoping, then despairing, then hoping. Can you control your feelings of loss by this process of painting, which is fundamentally structured by loss?'
I recently read and enjoyed 'Letters to Gwen John', Celia Paul's second book which, it turns out, was the better, more insightful of the two. That book was more about the practice of art, and, I feel, contained what she really wanted to say. To some extent, the first book was the thing she had to write - a personal history, a clearing of the throat.