One Hundred and Twenty-One - Margaret Scott
Title: One Hundred and Twenty-One 2021
Medium: Nuno Felted Merino Wool on Silk
Dimensions: 110cm x 175cm
Artist: Margaret Scott
One Hundred and Twenty-One is a portrait of a young mother cradling her newborn. Traces of exhaustion often found in the faces of new parents can be detected in her gentle smile, yet the viewer is struck by the tenderness of the portrait which speaks to the profound bond between mother and child. While the image itself is heart-warming, the title of this work alludes to tragedy. MBRACE UK’s 2019 study on Perinatal Mortality revealed that black babies have a 50% increased risk of neonatal death, and a 121% increased risk of stillbirth compared to their white counterparts. This figure imbues the portrait with ambiguity, the expression of the young mother becomes harder to read; is it relief, or heartbreak, or even imagined? The work exemplifies Maggie Scott’s tendency to draw her viewers in with nostalgic images only to deliver hard truths.