Last chance to see The Yellow Wallpaper @Cob Gallery – Camden, London
Earlier a couple of weeks ago I attended a very inspiring gallery talk, given by Natasha Hoare and Roxie Warder, co-curators of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, a group exhibition closing today the Cob Studios & Gallery. The visit offered a powerful insight into the refined and dedicated curatorial work and illustrated the exhibition featuring the work of 6 emerging female artists, made in response to the Gothic short story The Yellow Wallpaper. The text, published in January 1892 on the New England Magazine, is a semi-autobiographical short story written by the American novelist and sociologist Charlotte Perkins Gillman, after she suffered from a severe bout of postpartum psychosis.
The story, which soon became a best-seller of the Feminist Press, is still considered as one of the most prominent text in regards to the notion of woman as the lesser sex and of the patriarchal power still overwhelming both the family and society structures nowadays; it narrates about a woman suffering from feminine nerves and mild hysteric who’s driven to the verge of a severe pathology by her doctor’s – who’s also her husband – prescription of a “rest cure”‘. As he forces her to be closeted in a room for the sake of her health, the treatment contrasts heavily with her need to use her creativity to escape the monotony of the room in wich she’s confined, then as a result of the seclusion she develops an obsession with the room’s revolting wallpaper.
The wall decoration is seen as a metaphor both for insanity and creativity at the same time: the lack of symmetry or sequence irritates the narrator, the irregular and hideous pattern tortures her to the point that she tears it violently in the last scene.
Artists Eve Ackroyd, Becky Allen, Gabriella Boyd, Adeline de Monseignat, Suzannah Pettigrew, Fiona Robertson present works that investigate the power of imagination through a variety of languages and artistic practices , reflecting on interior spaces, and the self-marginalisation implemented by female artists and writers in the past as well as today.
The Cob Gallery
205 Royal College Street