Dance of the Wild – A Solo Exhibition of Sculptures, Drawings and Paintings inspired by the Russian tale of Vassilissa the Beautiful

Dance of the Wild, 2018, ochre, Chinese ink, watercolour on paper
Dance of the Wild – Exhibition View

An exhibition of doll figures inspired by the magical doll in the old Russian story of Vassilissa the Beautiful, in which a magical doll empowers a young motherless girl to survive a wicked step-mother and the fierce witch Baba Yaga. The doll, given to Vassilissa by her dying mother guides and instructs Vassilissa and achieves impossible tasks on her behalf, as long as she is given food and drink.

The Sleep of the Dejected, 2018, clay, wood, hessian (detail of installation)

Vassilissa, even in her most desperate moments remembers to feed this guiding self, a guardian, a secret inner voice and is rewarded with the means to navigate the fierce Baba Yaga and survive her time in her strange magical house and bring back fire.

Doll Self, 2018, clay, wood (detail of installation)
The Sleep of the Dejected and Doll Self, 2018, clay, wood, hessian (detail of installation)


Dance of the Wild – Installation

The exhibition included drawings inspired by the doll sculptures:

Dance of the Wild, 2018, ochre, Chinese ink, watercolour

…and drawings inspired by the village in the mountains where I go to draw and am part of an artists’ group, a village where I feel inexplicably at home and endlessly inspired…

I am free here to explore ideas…

…and be among friends, here turning up on opening night at the old ‘escuelita’ school house:

Bernard Gregor-Smith

The exhibition opened with ‘The Song of India’ by Rimsky-Korsakov played by the amazing cellist Bernard Gregor-Smith (see here for video)- a reference to the exhibition’s Russian source and Hindu-inspired shrines and watercolours:

Shrine – (detail) Dance of the Wild (2018)
Masks (2018) – watercolour and pencil on paper
Masked (2018) – (detail) pencil and watercolour on paper




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *