2008 - Fay


These works are about women, aging and power. In the Shorter Oxford Dictionary "Fay" means both fairy and dross. The traditional fairy had always been an invisible power, but over time, has been reduced from a place of cautious respect to quaint irrelevance. This echoes the words I hear from women as they age... of being submerged by invisibility and irrelevance.

The fairy element is also a tribute to my mother who gave me fairies as a child. She maintained she had seen one, so as a loyal son I will not say that I do not believe in fairies. I certainly believed in my mother. She was a testament to a mature woman's power.

I grew up with the safe Edwardian fairy folk of Arthur Rackham, only later in my teens discovering the Victorian fairy painter Richard Dadd. This is a long way from today’s Post-Tolkien "World of Warcraft" universe of elves and dwarves.

My fairies are not the delicate quaint creatures of my childhood; nor the contemporary flouro-coloured fusion of American and Manga cartooning. They are powerful creatures of the gaps - both generous and vindictive in turns, the spirit of the siren and sphinx embodied in flesh.

James Guppy 2008

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