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January 13, 2014 By Andy Ross

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Pauline Boty

Pallant House in Chichester is hosting an extraordianry show until February.

Pauline Boty was born in 1938 and was a key part of the British Pop Art movement. Her death at the age of 28 from cancer removed her name from the roll of artists who were influential in the movement, but in recent years, Pauline's name has become known again as the striking artist she was.

I knew nothing about Pauline but, on a visit to Pallant House where we saw some amazing things (have a look at their website to see what is on), we walked into the exhibition and were transfixed. My favourite picture is one that is based on a song - here performed by Barbra Streisand, called My Colouring Book. The words to the song are printed across the painting and the lines of this melancholic melody are depicted in lettering across the picture. Pauline used lace as a metaphor for femininity and her painting includes a window with lace drapes, as well as a puppet theatre standing on a table. The picture looks almost photographic in the frame. The last two lines "This is the room I sleep in and walk in and weeep in and hide in. Colour it lonely please." and their depiction of that empty blue room had me gently weeping.

Pauline also worked on stage sets and costume, painted, was a mother, acted and even danced on television. She  made a huge contribution to the artistic work of women in what was a male-dominated world. An extraordinary woman and I am very pleased to include a book about her in the library at the Centre in Yell.