The Fall from Grace, the Grace of the Fall
The pre-collegiate Magdalene history of our creative institution building is combined with visual archival reference to the ‘fallen women’ who once were incarcerated here. Drawing upon Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’ and the recorded testimony of the women themselves, the artist utilises a washing technique illustrating the physicality of the work the women had to perform incorporating a strategic colour palette contrasting blue and red. Classically the Virgin Mary is defined and portrayed in the innocence of blue and the act of servitude contrasting Mary Magdalene depicted in a dangerous, rebellious, and sinful red.
Through the medium of painting, video and sound installation this work approaches the subject with a narrative that follows a beautifully theatrical yet ritualistic and sinister dance symbolising the strength in these women despite the exclusion and oppression they faced. The uniforms worn by the women are painted in detail while their facial features are anonymous outlining their loss of identity.
The work further pays homage to the depiction of women dancing as in Munch’s ‘The Dance of Life’ and Botticelli ‘Primavera’s Three Graces’. This artist presents ‘The Fall from Grace, the Grace of the Fall.’