Some years back my friend V and I were at the opera in London. The opera was one of the classics. It came to the part where the daughter was sold, or the inconvenient wife killed and we looked at each other and said 'Naaa, we've had enough of this'. Here are 5 classic tales where women have been trapped, maimed, portrayed in a bad or unwholesome manner or wilfully misjudged. The context is contemporary and I am using signposts to help set the scene or context. From left:
01. Lavinia from Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare - "O, thus I found her straying in the park"
Lavinia was raped and mutilated - no hands, no tongue, only to be finished off later by her own father.
02. A selkie woman who has had her skin removed and without it is trapped on land in human form. Stories from The Hebrides and West of Ireland feature fishermen who hide the selkie's skin leaving her pining for the sea.
03. The Whore of Babylon from Revelations, Old Testament of the Christian Bible. "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and abominations of the earth". Surrounded by seven hills she represents the downfall of civilisation.
04. Ophelia from Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Weird and mad the conventions of her representation are - dressed in white, dishevelled hair and bedecked with wild flowers. Her madness was not of the intellect as was Hamlets but was portrayed as erotomania.
05. A girls night out in Coventry or a coven? History tells us that all women are witches if the signs are read wrongly. Overlaid faces are inspired by The Toby Twirl Story Book from my early childhood ;    it 's graphic portrayals of witches by  E. Jeffrey were truly terrifying.                                                    ​​​​​​​
Acrylics, pencil, felt tip pen on Fabriano paper 70cm x 100cm. Thanks to all the women who helped - you know who you are xxxxx
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