The California Works - Art Exhibition - Michael Reid Gallery

Petrina Hicks
The California Works

6 - 30 Jul 2016

These works were created during an artist residency in California in 2015. Looking at mythology, folk tales and the history of figuration in western art. these works are an updated version of ancient images. Wolf and woman; traditionally seen as predator and prey, are now presented in an illusory metaphorical space, where human and animal meet on the same plane and no boundaries exist. The wolf is typically seen as a symbol of evil, temptation and downfall in myth and folk tales, here the wolf and woman appear almost as one hybrid creature, a shapeshifter of sorts. Where does the wolf begin and the woman end? These works look at human and animal surfaces, it could be said that animals live on the surface and humans due to their self-reflexive nature live on the interior. As humans we often look to the animal in our attempt to resolve aspects of psyche we term ‘other’; our shadow, darker, primal instinct nature, we turn towards animals to help us think through identity, and to integrate this darker aspect of self. In Rattlesnake Blues a young girl is holding a beautiful Rattlesnake skeleton, both creatures appear sculptural and fragile. The snake stripped of flesh reveals the beautiful architecture of its skeletal interior, reminding us of the creature-like bodies we also inhabit.   Petrina Hicks, July 2016

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