Our booth concept this year is based on a dialog between the work of two female artists.
Lisa Ivory (b. 1966, United Kingdom) has spent her entire artistic career exploring the concept of otherness and its inherent duality of fear and attraction. The artist creates fantastic worlds of mythical creatures. She finds inspiration in fairy tales, and folklore, and often pulls source imagery from these histories. Her work makes reference to chimeras, hybrids, and other classical narrative archetypes – for example the beast/maiden dynamic.
Ivory’s paintings recall Francisco Goya and Honore Daumier, but the imagined horrors of woods and the natural world have always interested her. “When asked as a small child what I wanted to grow up to be, before I knew what an artist was, I would answer an animal”, Ivory notes. According to the artist, savage creatures from her paintings illustrate wild and bestial traits that lurk within every human being.
Patricia Ayres lives and works in New York. She has long considered themes of the body. Her sculptures relate to stories of isolation, separation, and confinement. Presently, the United States has the world’s largest incarceration rate. This has caused her to give thought to her own family dynamics as they relate to incarceration. The artist’s own grandparents, Sister Vessels and Father Curtin, had a love affair while still ordained, and later fled the church. In her mind, these transgressions are bound to the experience of another family member, currently incarcerated in a state prison. Ayres analyzes how the United States penal system controls, constrains and restricts the body through physical and psychological wounds, and how the Catholic Church controls behavior through a ritualistic belief system.
Ayres is well-known for her visceral totemic sculptures. Here she has pulled, stretched, bound, wrapped, and stitched elastic sourced from the garment district. These materials remind her of skin but also of a straight jacket. These sculptures reference pain, torture, and control of the oppressed female body.