Monday, February 18, 2019

The Monster's Bride

Progress view 1: The Bride linoleum block in late 2018

Featured in this post are selected progress views of The Bride, the eighth of eight 'non-portrait' linocuts created for Frankenstein's Women, an artist book based on the peripheral female characters in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. I developed the series during 2018, the 200th anniversary of its publication, predominantly during a residency at Melbourne Athenaeum Library. (See previous post).

In recent weeks, the project was put to one side as I turned my focus to a new body of paintings. The temporary pause gave me time to rethink part of the drawing and introduce a crucial element, namely, a ribbon choker. In the finished work, this will be red, a colour associated with the French Revolution. Red was also the colour of chokers worn by women who had narrowly escaped the guillotine, as well as a mark of sympathy for its victims. Mary Shelley and her husband Percy closely studied every aspect of the revolution and there are several references to it in Frankenstein. 

In Shelley's novel, at the behest of his 'monster,' Frankenstein creates a bride, but, at the very point of bestowing life, destroys her. Like the downtrodden French revolutionaries, Shelley's monster demonstrates the dehumanising effects of ill-treatment and neglect.

For further reading, visit my Art Blog HERE.

Progress view 2

Progress view 3, with cutting completed and repositioned choker

Work on the title page has begun and the design for the colophon is also in development.

Frankenstein's Women will be exhibited in a solo show at HipCat Printery Gallery, opening on 12 October, 2019.