Inside Out

Inside Out, made in the tumultuous period before the demise of apartheid is, like several works from this period, filled with fear, anxiety and violence. Though there are apparently erotic liaisons depicted in the painting, they are juxtaposed with images of entrapment – the cloying interior spaces, the woman trapped in the box in the central panel – that convey psychological and social trauma.

In speaking of these paintings, Bell describes a feeling of claustrophobia, a sense that it was impossible, in South Africa at the time, to experience meaningful human connections. 

Artwork courtesy of Tatham Art Gallery.

Artwork Info

Deborah Bell

Inside Out


Oil on canvas

202 x 384 cm