I often get asked if I have something online about the background and theme of my exhibitions. So I am about to start a new section and this is the first post including the artist statement and a list of artworks on display in the show ^_^…
Forest Dreams No.1 , print by minu
In December 2012 I exhibited together with Rieko at Thistle Hall in Wellington. The theme of the show evolved around the European archetype of the Big Bad Wolf (and the innocent Girl) and the Japanese Red Fox (Kitsune).
“Little Red Riding Hood took off her clothes and got into bed […] and the wicked wolf fell upon her and ate her all up.”
Le Petit Chaperon rouge, Charles Perrault, 1684
Versions of the Big Bad Wolf living in the Dark Forest appear in numerous European folktales, most famously in Little Red Cap aka Little Red Riding Hood. Current interpretation traces the origin of the tale back to Norse mythology: at the end of the world the trickster God Loki is let loose to “hurry in the form of a wolf to swallow the moon”. The moon is seen as feminine, as the “Lady Luna”, ergo: the Wolf eats the Girl and usually this takes place in a Dark Forest.
I have always seen the Wolf and the Dark Forest as a dual entity, where the whole or the parts are endangered species. The girl is a symbol of change. She is either swallowed by the shadows in the forest never to return, or she is “rescued” by – of all people – a wood cutter with an axe…
The Red Fox (Kitsune)
In the Kitsune tales the Girl and the Fox are one. Kitsune, Japanese for fox, is a common character in Japanese folklore, either depicted as a wise guardian or as a trickster. The Fox often possess magical abilities including the ability to assume human form. They often change into a young girl, but they have difficulty hiding their tails. Many tales also include a jewel glowing with kitsune-bi, or fox-fire, holding a part of The Fox’s magical power or even part of its soul; the kitsune will die if separated from it for long. The foxfire could be related to western tales of the will-o’-the-wisp’ mischievously leading lone travelers off the path at night.
You can read our press release, photos of the opening and the show are on Flickr.
My artwork for the show included:
- The Fox and the Jewel, No.2, Drypoint print in limited edition
- The Fox and the Jewel, No.1, Drypoint print in limited edition
- Forest Dreams, No.1, Drypoint print in limited edition
- Forest Dreams, No.2, Drypoint print in limited edition
- Forest Dreams, Acrylic on recycled wood
- The Wolf and the Forest, Drypoint print in limited edition
- Wolf Dreams, No.2, Drypoint hand-coloured, limited edition
- Wolf Dreams, No.1, Drypoint hand-coloured, limited edition
- Directions, Acrylic on recycled wood
- Fox, Creature in limited edition
- The Other Fox, Creature in limited edition
- Red Cap, Creature in limited edition
- Wolf, Creature in limited edition
- Winter Tree, Installation
The prints will be available online soon!
Wolf Spirit, plush by minu