Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Bride of the Revolution

It can be frustrating when a work in progress remains in limbo for too long. Sometimes, however, it can be a blessing, as in the case of my linocut, The Bride. Aside from the Title and Colophon pages, it’s the final work intended for the artist book Frankenstein’s Women, which centres on the women in Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The delay has enabled me to rethink the work a little (see below) before too much was cut away. I’ve reworked part of the drawing and added a thin choker (see above) which, in the finished work will be coloured red.

The choker was in particular vogue during the French Revolution, although it was hardly a fashion accessory. Female French ex-patriots wore red ribbon chokers as coded testaments to their own close escapes from the guillotine, and as a tribute to those who were not so fortunate. The colour red signified droplets of blood around a severed head.

Mary Shelley's political views were inherited from her parents Mary Wollstonecraft and 
William Godwin, whose politics leaned to the far left. Frankenstein may have its roots in Romanticism, but it is equally an allegory for the Reign of Terror, a commentary on mass revolution and social injustice. Frankenstein’s monster personifies the revolutionaries in terms of the dehumanising, brutalising affect of cruelty, poverty and neglect. Frankenstein and his family represent the bourgeoisie. 

For further reading, go HERE

The linocuts from Frankenstein's Women will be exhibited in a solo show at HipCat Printery, opening on October 12.