09 June 2011


Fiona Fenech's new exhibition features embellished and hand-stitched works on paper that explore the transition from childhood to adolescence and the dualism of integrating fantasy and reality. The work draws from the narratives of Seventeenth Century French Contes de Fees (fairy tales) and children’s games that have elements of magical transformation, fantasy, violence and the macabre.

 Far Left: 'Miss Beaute Monstre' 2011, collage, thread and ink on BFK paper, 125 x 87.5cm
Left Centre: 'Chinois Cinderella' 2011, thread, glass beading and coloured pencil on BFK paper, 125 x 87.5cm
Right Centre: 'Princess Goody Two Shoes' 2011, collage, thread, ink and glass beads on BFK paper, 125 x 87.5cm
 Far Right: 'The Virgin and The Rose' 2010, thread and ink on BFK paper, 125 x 87.5cm

According to Fenech, 'Miss Beaute Monstre' plays around the anamorphic aspect of Beauty and the Beast. She is connected to the earth and it is ambivalent as to weather she is emerging or submerging back into the flora and bugs. The work 'Chinois Cinderella' refers to the fairy tale of Cinderella which is originally a Chinese tale that the French Court ladies retold as their own. In her drawing the slippers are small to represent the Chinese bound feet and reference to slavery. 'Princess Goody Two Shoes' is based around a Princess who was given to a suitor by her wealthy father. She refused to marry him so he broke down her door in order to take her against her will. The princess had a hammer and hit him over the head to protect herself and refused to be wed against her will. The dolls in the drawing represent the passing of childhood. Fenech's 'The Virgin and The Rose'  is based around the tale of Red Riding Hood but in today's time Red is aware of Stranger Danger, hence the machine gun.

The drawing 'Princess Donkey Tale' incorporates Fairytale and child’s play. In the original French tale the girl has to protect herself from the advances of her father and uses a knife to cut off the skin of a donkey and hide under the skin to escape. The donkey tail is from the game Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Adolescents also play this game as a drinking contest.

Fiona Fenech's solo exhibition 'A Marvelous Transformation' will be on view at Brenda May Gallery until Saturday 2 July 2011.

Fiona Fenech, 'Princess Donkey Tale' 2010, collage, ink, thread, glass beads and texta on BFK paper, 125 x 87.5cm

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