Published  14/10/2003

Paula Rego: Jane Eyre and Other Stories

Paula Rego: Jane Eyre and Other Stories

Marlborough Fine Art, London.
15 October-22 November 2003.

Reaction to the Iraqi War in the West has been strangely muted among artists. In England, Paula Rego has produced a pastel at Marlborough Fine Art, which accompanies a new set of 25 lithographs, drawing inspiration from Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. The Iraq pastel is different, and deploys the distinctive imagery of human victims as a kind of menagerie of performing marionettes, wearing animal masks. In this spook-ridden house (where Jane Eyre was employed as governess), the pastel 'War' offers key figurative images taken from European traditions of religious art and their taboos: a loopy rabbit acts as an anxious pietà dressed in the blue garments traditional to the Virgin.

Rego describes her own graphically active hand as a seismograph, setting down the traumatic turbulence of her affected mind. 'War' reflects just such a psychological tremor, and such images from the 'bunny' world (or is it, as one commentator claims, the world of Richard Kelly's film 'Donnie Darko'?) are moving effects of a war drift – profoundly distressing.

studio international logo

Copyright © 1893–2024 Studio International Foundation.

The title Studio International is the property of the Studio International Foundation and, together with the content, are bound by copyright. All rights reserved.

twitter facebook instagram

Studio International is published by:
the Studio International Foundation, PO Box 1545,
New York, NY 10021-0043, USA