Serena Potter, Awakening, 2015

The artist explains that the woman on the ladder “is reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin [an early feminist novel from 1899 about a woman in New Orleans and the prevailing social attitudes about women]. Much of my work is metaphorical. He may be her husband or represent masculine society. I let people read into the painting. I love hearing their stories.”

At first I thought that the woman was about to clean the gutters, hence threatening her husband’s masculinity by changing traditional domestic gender roles. How do you interpret the scene?

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