Yellow Wallpaper

Oil on canvas, handmade book in English and Dutch. 2015

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1892 short story The Yellow Wallpaper plots a woman’s mental state through her deteriorating understanding of the wallpaper, in the room she is confined to.

 

The wallpaper becomes atrocious and in turn all old foul, bad yellow things. Not being allowed to write or read, the narrator instead obsessively reads the wallpapers repeated markings. Despite so much description of pattern, we are left without a clear image. Surface pattern design has historically been dominated by women and has as such often been denigrated as an art form.

The book is a composite of two second hand copies, one in dutch one in english with the pages arranged to be read in each language when flipped; merging the two. The paintings can be seen as wallpaper variations grasped from Perkins Gilman’s descriptive prose.