A series of work that has been inspired by the stories and theories of Angela Carter and made for ‘The Snow, The Crow and The Blood’ exhibition.
Carter’s stories and essays have been inspiring my work for many years, with themes and motifs regularly appearing in her often monochromatic, dream-like paintings, and films of uncanny wooden puppets and shadows. Many of my narratives are self-penned, but they echo Carter’s magic worlds that are rife with the haunting curiosity of forests, and both the ghastly and innocent beasts that roam within. To coincide with the Royal West of England Academy show ‘Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter’, ‘The Snow, The Crow and The Blood’ presents my own celebration of Carter’s work, directly illustrating key stories and ideas that have inspired me, focusing particularly on themes of gender, animal-human relationships, metamorphosis and fairy tales.
“She is an unbroken egg, she is a sealed vessel; she has inside her a magic space the entrance to which is shut tight with a plug of membrane; she is a closed system; she does not know how to shiver. She has her knife and she is afraid of nothing.” – The Company of Wolves
“Buzz crouched between her feet and scrutinised as much as he could see of her perilous interior to find out if all was in order and there were no concealed fangs or guillotines inside her to ruin him.” – Love
“The tiger will never lie down with the lamb; he acknowledges no pact that is not reciprocal. The lamb must learn to run with the tigers.” – The Tiger’s Bride
“Fresh snow fell on snow already fallen; when it ceased, the whole world was white. ‘I wish I had a girl as white as snow,’ says the Count. They ride on. They come to a hole in the snow; this hole is filled with blood. He says: ‘I wish I had a girl as red as blood.’ So they ride on again; here is a raven, perched on a bare bough. ‘I wish I had a girl as black as that bird’s feathers.’” – The Snow Child
“See! sweet and sound she sleeps in granny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf.” – The Company of Wolves
“She was a sacred monster. She was personified and self-fulfilling fertility.” – The Passion of New Eve
“I am the Great Parricide, I am the Castratrix of the Phallocentric Universe, I am Mama, Mama, Mama!” – The Passion of New Eve
“The swan made a lumpish jump forward and settled on her loins.” – The Magic Toyshop
“He and I, she and he, are the sole oasis in this desert, Flesh is a function of enchantment. It uncreates the world.” – The Passion of New Eve
“Then she will open all the cages and let the birds free; they will change back into young girls, every one, each with the crimson imprint of his love-bite on their throats.” – The Erl-King
“A free woman in an unfree society will be a monster.” ― The Sadeian Woman