The Play House
"I know your deepest secret fear", sang Jim Morrison. The life beyond appearance has long tormented artists, delving into the darkest corners of their psyche beneath the thin veneer of the rational world. Their routes have been various: fantasy and dream; folklore, myth and fairy tale; repressed memories, nightmares and madness.
In these more recent paintings, drawing on fragmented recollections of her childhood, commonplace objects take on disturbing associations in a theatre of the mind. Aside from the occasional eerie light through a window or half-open door, the outside world barely intrudes. Once the curtains open, the only character inhabiting this claustrophobic world is the artist herself, accompanied by an array of stage-props: dark wardrobes and chairs; dolls, toys and strange animals; clothes draped over furniture; open boxes and rotting flowers. There is no attempt at psychological penetration in her self-depiction. the face is as impenetrable as a mask, the expression no more readable than that of the doll or the cat. A greater clue to an interpretation is provided by the protective costumes and the choreography of the body language- the half-turned stance or the recurrently clasped hands.
Francis Mallet - July 2003