RONA GREEN: Surface Value
Wed 17 Oct - Fri 9 Nov 2012
Rona Green's prints and paintings are a mix of identity politics, Gothic/Calvinist precision and black humour.
Green's deft juggling of story, aphorism, text and stereotype. demolishes the boundaries between tattoo and fine art.
Transformation is a recurrent theme on all levels of Green's work. Her anthropomorphic wild-animal figures seem to embody the shamanistic shape-shifting abilities attributed to trickster-artist-healers throughout history. At the same time there is an affectionate account of our long kinship with domestic animals in the vulnerability and humanness of many of her critters.
Gender is also transformed - Green's characters are most at home in masculine trappings. There is a clear enjoyment of the artist in trialling a prodigal range of alter egos. The eyes become tunnels in and out of these sheddable skins in constant metanarratives about seeing.
Another transformation that is enacted in these images is one of healing and redemption. Like the retablo paintings of Mexican culture or the straw men of the ancient Celts, they seem to be ready surrogates able to take on our sins, dark emotions and wounds.
Curated by Rodney Forbes.
Image: Rona Green, Demarques, 2011 Linocut and ink, 45 x 28 cm, edition 33.