19 March – 19 June 2011
Pallant House Gallery presents The House of Fairy Tales Portfolio, 22 prints inspired by Fairytales, folktales, myths and legends, specially-commissioned by the artists Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis. Displayed as a trail throughout the Queen-Anne townhouse the exhibition includes works by Peter Blake, Mat Collishaw, Kiki Smith, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whiteread.
Established in 2007 by the artists Deborah Curtis and Gavin Turk, The House of Fairy Tales project aims to inspire creativity and imagination in children, recalling a past in which fairy tales and bedtime stories provided a world of dreams and captured children's imaginations. The House of Fairy Tales Portfolio is the first in a planned series of publishing projects with high-profile artists. The brief was to make an image inspired by ‘Fairytales, Folktales, Myths and Legends'.
This exhibition features 22 prints from the limited edition portfolio displayed as a trail throughout the Gallery. It includes Melancholia (2008) by Gavin Turk, the co-founder of the House of Fairy Tales project, which recalls a shipwrecked artist on a desert island and contains remnants of both the classic tale Moby Dick, and art historical references to Giorgio de Chirico.
Rachel Whiteread's work, ‘Storytime' is infused with the emotion of childhood stories, a sense of loss, displacement, fear and hidden histories. For the Portfolio she has reproduced an image of an uncanny dolls' house with handmade, moth-eaten characters leering out from the background like bogeymen.
Paula Rego's work has always been infiltrated by storytelling. Her mastery of etching enables her to make narrative images with a lightness of painterly drawing. Her work is deeply psychological, and documents the suffocating complexities of family life. In her piece The Guardian, a bedtime story is seemingly being read by a mother figure. In the background there are dark images encroaching, nightmares to suggest that the stories are cruel, and the guardian may not be who they seem.
Peter Blake has produced a print entitled ‘I may not be a Ruralist anymore, but this morning I saw a fairy in my garden in Chiswick 2008. It refers to the artist's move to the countryside near Bath where he set up the 'Brotherhood of the Ruralists', reacting against the urban bias of the
1970s. During this time he began to draw on images from English folklore and Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass'. In this work he contemporises the classic 'fairy at the bottom of the garden' tale.
Notes to Editors:
The House of Fairy Tales portfolio has been purchased for Pallant House Gallery through The Golder - Thompson Gift. A special tenth anniversary exhibition A Passion for Prints: Ten Years of The Golder - Thompson Gift is on show in Rooms 15-17 (until 19 June).