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The Child's Room

1977, oil on canvas, 54 x 54", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting, 'The Child's Room', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge

Here I used decalcomania in the inner portion and precise painting on the outside, creating a box-like space with perspective. It became my room, where I used to see images in the uneven plaster on the ceiling. This experience, I’m sure, led to my later interest in finding images in random textured surfaces.

Detail of acrylic painting, 'The Child's Room', by Jenny Badger Sultan: toast slices run screaming. Detail of acrylic painting, 'The Child's Room', by Jenny Badger Sultan: man points gun at woman's belly. Detail of acrylic painting, 'The Child's Room', by Jenny Badger Sultan: child looks up.

Two images I saw on my ceiling were the man holding a gun to a woman’s stomach and the slices of toast running away screaming. This might give you the feeling that I felt a lot of fear as a child, and you’d be right.

The giant face at the window was a kind of vision or hallucination. And whenever I had a nightmare and needed to get to my parents’ room for comfort, I imagined robbers in the doorway were waiting for me, blocking the way.

The smoky figure on the left is my father, who often helped me get back to sleep after a nightmare.

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