Monday, February 14, 2011

Karen Davies

Metamorphosis, narrative, fairytale and other worlds are important elements in Davies’ practice. Fairytale realms are fertile grounds for the exploitation of the space of representation to explore ideas of person and personhood. Fairytales often speak through animals to explore human motivation and experience. As the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss commented, animals are “bons à penser” or good to think with. Davies’ work is grounded in this tradition. 

Ovid’s poem Metamorphoses is the founding text of the metamorphic tradition. For Ovid, “All things are always changing.” During times of cultural change, such metamorphic narratives come to the fore. As Marina Warner argues, they “often arose in spaces (geographical and mental) that were crossroads, cross-cultural zones … .” Davies’ work exists at just such a point of interchange. Her works take much from Ovid’s often-perverse comedy, or the presentation of metamorphosis as an expression of intense passion, at moments of crisis.

Bronze Cast



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