The Uncivilised Cat presents a moment of alarm and restlessness, as the cat sits upon the open pages of the novel 'Love's Creation', by Marie Stopes. Published in 1928, the year all women obtained the right to vote in the UK, the book addresses the relationship between men and women. Around this central subjet lie other objects that refer to the condition of the woman and create a strong feminist narrative. The clawed pound note could suggest the quest for financial independance; the lillies a common representation of innocence, but with the Venus statuette it instead refers to the myth of the goddess of love's jealous curse on them, and so suggests lust. Another book in the image is Robert Graves' autobiography of 1929, that talks of the change of society post WWI, involving the rise of atheism, feminism and socialism, as well as the changes to traditional marriage. Along with discussing women's right, it is possible that this the still life points to the state of Miller Parker's marriage with William McCance.
Agnes Miller Parker
tempera on board
52.7 × 47.6 cm
Ⓒ The Copyright Holder. Image courtesy The Fine Art Society. Photography by John McKenzie.
Agnes Miller Parker, 1895-1980
Born in Irvine, Ayrshire and trained at Glasgow School of Art, Parker later taught at the school. The artist moved to London in 1920 with her then husband and fellow GSA graduate, William McCance, both of them becoming involved with the short-lived, artistic movement of the Vorticists. Their influence, as well as that of Cubism, can be seen on her work. Miller Parker is best known for her wood gravings, moving in 1930 to Wales with McCance to become artist-illustrator of the Gregynog Press.