Maia Stark

From Maia:

I, like many people, had an immense fascination with fairy tales and fantasy as a child. The concept of magic and presence of strange creatures in such tales was captivating, as was the grotesque violence in many of the stories. In fairytales, children’s heads were chopped off; princes were turned into deer to be butchered; a young girl in red shoes was forced to dance without respite, opting to cut her feet off rather than dance another step; and various characters routinely had their eyes plucked out. Fairy tale motifs of death, duality, transformation, and gender have had relevance for much of my artwork over the last few years. The work in Cautionary Tales is an exploration of some of this research: specifically, a female-focused narrative which taps into some of my own interest in doubles/twins and their gendered connection to death and the supernatural. The imagery is inspired by my research, though the narratives I have crafted are unique. In these pieces, the enemy and ally are not clearly defined: an invitation in the forest may lead somewhere you don’t want to go, a dark shape with many hands may offer salvation, and witches who ride wolves as horses have their own ambitions.

From April 9th to May 9th, Maia will be showing new works at void as part of Cautionary Tales with Cate Francis. Both Maia’s and Cate’s artworks draw from and critique childhood fairytales. Maia’s works are situated within these realms of mystery and possibility while complicating the narratives so that the viewer can no longer tell which paths lead to safety and which to danger. Meanwhile Cate’s works, though building from the animal characters present in these same tales, are constructed from the perspective of a realist aware of the ecological damage being caused by humans. An opening reception will be held Thursday, April 9th, from 7 to 9 pm. - join the Facebook event