Review for INFOSURR 156 by Ken Cox
Kathleen Fox, Dreaming the Found, 15 July – 5 September 2021, Farleys Gallery, Farley Farm, Chiddingly, England.
Chance and an acceptance of ‘the found’, made clear in its title, are at the heart of the latest exhibition by Kathleen Fox, whether from fragments skilfully bound together to create fetish-like objects or from randomly created surfaces from which she creates her paintings, drawings and collages. The striking images that she obtains out from these processes transport us into the dreamtime of mythology, whether drawing upon the continent of her birth, Africa, from classical myth, from the chthonic and pre-historic, and from those myths that are deeply personal, not least the enigmatic signs that come to us from the unconscious. There is a beguiling narrative to Fox’s creations, interconnecting magical threads that lead us into a labyrinth, as if a spell being cast over us by their dialogue, perhaps the rubric of a secret ritual into which we have strayed. It is perhaps fitting that Fox is exhibited in the former home of surrealists Roland Penrose and Lee Miller, and that her work is appreciated by their son, Antony. Hers is unquestionably some of the most powerful artistic work to be found in Surrealism over the past thirty years and it is an enduring disgrace that she has not been included in those large exhibitions, curated by academics, that have focused upon women artists and Surrealism. (KC)
Kathleen Fox, Crocodile Queen, Fluid acrylics, paper bark, and red sand (Northern Cape, South Africa), on raw canvas, 2018, 115 X 90cm