Artist Statement

Thread Bare Woman - Susan McKenna



a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibres used in sewing or weaving.


interweave or intersperse as if with threads.

move carefully or skilfully in and out of obstacles.



(of a person or part of the body) not clothed or covered.

without the appropriate, usual, or natural covering.

without addition; basic and simple.

devoid of; without.


uncover (a part of the body or other thing) and expose it to view.



(of cloth, clothing, or soft furnishings) becoming thin and tattered with age.

(of a person, building, or room) poor or shabby in appearance.

(of an argument, excuse, idea, etc.) used so often that it is no longer effective.



an adult human female.

A threadbare rug is worn out from years of wear and over use. A thing of quality that has endured the weight of endless traffic over a long period of time. The insightful will not discard the worn item but recognise the life and history within the rug, where it was once new and vibrant it now holds a deeper, more subtle quality. The passage of time may have taken its toll but with care and attention the rug still has much value to offer to those who are prepared to see its worth.

Thread Bare Woman is an exploration of womanhood in midlife. Susan McKenna uses themes of domestic and sexual identity, loss, inheritance and media image to explore how external forces influence the internal narrative and lived experience of today’s woman in midlife. Susan seeks to explore how women strive to move beyond projected labels and societal expectations whilst confronting their own selfward facing opinions and navigating the hormonally turbulent path that is perimenopause and menopause.