The shadows of childhood linger long for every adult person, but the most ominous and haunting shadows are invariably those that darken (or ironically illuminate) a female artist's works. We will not quote from the post-Freudian library here or vouchsafe certain feminist theories that have towered and tumbled one after another in recent years; the issue has been addressed more clearly and honestly in legend, myth, and fairy tale anyway . One has only to appreciate the fitting name of Grimm in connection with a number of feminine archetypes to glimpse an eternal truth - that a woman will always resort to the weapons at hand to wrestle herself away from the grasp of demons. This is an even more poignant lesson when the weapons at hand are her own discerning eye and a brush daubed with color.
Glass, Cinder and Thorns, the group show that will commence at 323East on March 20, is both an exhibit and a visual symposium on these matters. The participating female artists (drawn from Detroit, California, New York, France, Australia, and elsewhere) have striven to find a code - a personal and general one - that deciphers the puzzle of identity. The images they offer up are menacing and ambiguous, soft and dreamlike, familiar and uncanny. And if the enigma we referenced earlier is still wrapped in silence, then we can at least rejoice that future attempts at decipherment will prompt even more works in the future by Audrey Pongracz, Jessica Dalva, Jessamyn Patterson, Kelly Vivanco, and others
As children our parents would read to us bedtimes stories of little mermaids, sleeping beauties, and little red riding hoods. These innocent stories often had evil lurking beneath the pages. What Disney failed to tell you is that, the mermaid dies, multiple suitors defiled sleeping beauty and the wolf ate grandma.
There are a lot of horrible things in our reality today and we all sometimes wish for a place or time where things are simpler and better. We find ourselves wanting the warmth of our childhood beds, the calming voice of our parents sending us of to sleep with our favorite story. Yet even in fairylands of beauty and glitter, evil things creep about in false glamour’s, such as the evil witch living in the gingerbread house or a beautiful sea nymph singing you into your watery grave.