BEASTS BEGUILED: Familiars & Wild Women

When asked as small child what I wanted to grow up to be, before I knew what an artist was, I would answer: an animal.” – Lisa Ivory

Lisa Ivory’s vignettes play with depth and scale in landscapes roamed variously by strange beasts and savant, nude, women.

Wild men, chimeras and shapeshifters are also recurrent motifs in her work, and the figure of a naked woman – pale, full and fecund – is oft accompanied by and contrasted with the hairy wild man of myth and nightmares.

This shadowy presence occupies our subconscious, revealing itself in our dreams and desires. Is this prospect an aspect of our own psyche? As Ivory states: “My work attempts to connect my creature self with my human self—to be “hairy on the inside,” as Angela Carter wrote”.

What intrigues is the magical possibility within familiar forms that Ivory conjures: the odd, the liminal, the ambiguous. A wild man, a savage woman, a feral child… their wildness simultaneously resides within us. This is allowed to roam free in Ivory’s imagined landscapes, raptured territories which describe something universal; personal trials and travails, flailing and failures, the worshipped and the scorned.