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The primary theme I am exploring is that of human’s relation to the animal world, as it has been interpreted through myth, fairy tale and children’s literature. I am also interested in referencing Jung’s ideas of the Animal as an aspect of the self, and the Child as a figure of the preconscious self, not yet integrated into the human awareness.
The work often uses a specific character, a single girl-child, who is shown in a series of interactions with animals, animal masks, or toy animal figures. The images may be seen as fragments of the child’s dreams, or fairy tales, wherein animals talk, play, weep, and kill.
Animals may appear in the culture of childhood as wide-eyed cartoons and toys, but the creatures that inhabit these images, even in play, have both teeth and claw. The girl herself is neither hapless victim of her four-legged companions, nor the sweet-faced playmate that reassures us of nature’s goodness.
Stylistically my use of bright, unmixed color with crisp detail has been influenced by my study of early book illustration especially fifteenth century books of hours. My intention is to present aspects of traditional pictorial illustration, as it may exist outside of the medium of an illustrated storybook. I have also been influenced by the painting of Edward Hopper, and Freda Kahlo, and the writing of Angela Carter, Ron Hansen and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.