What Big Eyes You Have – at Cornerstone

see you Elizabeth Willow hanging1.jpg

Had a nice stroll in the sun today over to the Cornerstone gallery but I had to look out for the big bad wolf. I needn’t have worried though, it seems he only attacks vulnerable young girls.
This lovely exhibition is a collaboration between Becca Backhouse and Elizabeth Willow and is loosely based on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Its about mysterious forests, tangled roots, fears, shadows and shiny berries on branches. Its also about the warped perceptions of women, they should not stray from the path, should fear being alone and are to blame if they are attacked.

Becca has been working with blackboards and white chalk recently and there are a few here with text which has become indistinct and replaced by wolf-like figures. Elizabeth has created several works using branches, twigs, gems, jewels, red velvet and various other found objects. You can look at them for ages, fascinated by their detail and fragility.
There is also a video of Becca eating her sketchbook, stuffing the pages into her mouth till its full. A metaphor for digesting, being force-fed knowledge from the normally male-dominated universities, churches, workplaces etc.
A joint work is a wardrobe painted with matt black paint containing small lamps and apples which have also been painted black. You can smell the apples and they will eventually rot but the paint is preserving them for quite a while.

I went today because there was a ‘meet the artists’ session. An excellent idea I think, anyone could call in and ask Becca or Elizabeth about their work just for an hour in the afternoon without any prepared speeches or presentations. I’d like to see more like that.
And I’d like to see more exhibitions like this, really enjoyable and thought provoking.

‘What Big Eyes You Have’ by Elizabeth Willow and Becca Backhouse at Cornerstone until February 17th 2006

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