It’s Just A Story – Mary-Louise Dawson

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April 9th – April 12th, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday April 9th, 6 – 8 pm
Artist talk: Thursday April 9th, 3 – 4:30 pm

When a child is frightened by a tale that has been read or told to them by an adult, they are often reassured with the phrase ‘it’s just a story’, or ‘It’s not real’. Yet stories play a big part in shaping our reality and how we view the world from a very young age. Fairy tales, fables, legends, stories, and verses were commonplace in almost every household. It’s Just A Story was chosen as a name for this body of work due to the dark nature of many of the classic fairy tales and books accepted as children’s literature.

Although themes include greed, murder, betrayal, abandonment, madness, and other adult topics, they are all stories created, and used with the purpose of entertaining younger minds. Stories can become part of who we are. Once read, they are embedded into our memories and can be recalled, altered, and passed on. Revisiting these same stories later in life can result in a new awareness of things that they were unable to comprehend at their first exposure. This multi-layered aspect of children’s literature is what has inspired the creation of every painting, installation, or sculpture.

At first glance the works seem simple, but with a closer look, the many layers that make up any one painting can be seen, and stories can be experienced in the same way. Upon first encounter they read as straightforward, innocent even, but upon closer inspection they appear darker and less cheerful than what was previously remembered. Appropriated images from classic fairy tales and popular children’s literature are combined with mixed media, and layered backgrounds to create new narratives that maintain a sense of being familiar.