Bluebeard’s Basement (Unplugged)

My challenge has been to create a collage for each artist’s opening show for the first year of The Painted Desert Gallery. To do this, I look at the show pieces, get a sense of the artist’s stance, then listen to my interpretation .

This collage, Bluebeard’s Basement (Unplugged), evolved as a result of looking at Rose’s painted pieces for her first solo show.

AJ photographed three of Rose’s pieces in this show, printed each photo on archival paper and gave them to me for use in the collage.

As I sat with Rose’s show, there was a sense of swirling undefined newness. I imagined a three dimensional piece that would evoke loose associations that were layered yet connected. I wanted to cut the photos apart and stack the colors in a way that suggested a centralized theme between the shapes yet individual configurations. I wanted to capture a sense of depth as well as movement in space thus the idea of the basement evolved. Here were colors and shapes that spoke to development, harmony and the wild.

As this fun piece evolved I was drawn from my right brain into my left brain where images of myth and archetypal stories point to the psychic development of the feminine. In the story of Bluebeard, there is an attempt of the predator to intervene when a woman is in her naïve, soulful and intuitive self. Thus in this piece I see the colors swirling, the multiple layers and the separate constructs as indicative of the woman’s active intuitive and alive self. It was down in the basement that Bluebeard planned to capture the woman’s curiosity; then punish her for it. Bluebeard would like to sever the wild connection and take away from the woman her intuitive knowing, stop her in her tracks, doubt herself and be fearful. In this piece, Bluebeard is unplugged for the feminine has made itself into beauty in the form of swirling colors, layers of meaning, strength and depth of knowing. Plus the key is visible and not bloody which communicates access and freedom for the feminine psyche.

I see Rose’s first show as symbolic of her own wrestling with the predator who would have loved to have her not do the show. But instead she faced the challenge and can now swirl amongst the knowing that she has unplugged Bluebeard.

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