Her Kind

31 Aug 2011 - 24 Sep 2011
Solo Exhibition - Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne

Her Kind explores 19th century Spiritualism and its influence on the mystical renaissance of the 1960’s. Yardley's small monochromatic paintings are reminiscent of the earliest forms of photography and its reproduction in postcard format. Suggestions of paranormal activity refer to the Spirit photography invented by William Mumler in 1860 where unexpected lights and apparitions of presumed ghosts sit alongside the living sitters. However, rather than appearing in Victorian costume Yardley’s figures resemble the free living characters of the 1960’s; the hippies, beats, nudists and New Agers. The paintings draw on print material and cinema of the 1960’s occult revival exemplified in the films of Kenneth Anger and Roman Polanski. Figures and scenes emerge luminous out of the inky sepia coloured oil paint paying homage to the paintings and etchings of the Symbolists such as Eugene Carriere and Fransisco Goya.  

Poem by Anne Sexton 

Her Kind

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;   
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch   
over the plain houses, light by light:  
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. 
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.   
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,   
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,   
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:   
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,   
learning the last bright routes, survivor   
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.   
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.   
I have been her kind.

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