Squeak Carnwath
Ancient History, 2006
Jacquard tapestry
77 x 77 in
Edition of 8

Squeak Carnwath posed the question in a 2001 interview: “How can a contemporary artist make beautiful work when it’s already been done – how do you re-contextualize it?” Ancient History finds Carnwath working towards an answer by reflecting on the continuous nature of inspiration. Juxtaposing a drawing of a classical pitcher with a scrawled aphorism on a sheet of looseleaf and layers of her own painterly revelations, the artist emphasizes the unmediated common ground that links the ancient and the modern. The process of creative expression, she reminds us, never takes place in a vacuum; paraphrasing Picasso, Carnwath quips: “Good ideas are not made, they are stolen.”