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Becky Atherton

Artist Statement

Through my work I want to explore the mythological representation of women and how stories have been influenced and reengineered by patriarchy. How women have been written out of folklore and how stories have been changed to fit in with this ideology. I will look at how great historical attacks on female power have been made into folklore and fairytale such as the attack on women through the great witch hunts. I want to look at the demonization and sexualized aspect of women in mythology such as Lilith from Jewish folk law and the Harpy.

How great female characters such as the Norse Valkyries with all their power being intermediaries between humans and gods, guides for the dead, and means to rebirth , have through time and telling of different stories such as the Valkyrie Brunhilde reduced to being stupid and weak and passed between men .

How great female qualities and strengths have been attacked and subdued to ensure the domesticity of, and undervalue of women’s work through History.

Using a surrealist /fantasy style I want to challenge the materialistic patriarchal society we live in, by providing an alternative. The intent is to encourage people to think beyond the limits of religion, domestic lives, money, and wealth and explore stories and other possibilities and ways of being and thinking. I want to visually intermingle female mythological characters with modern day and historical scenario’s, issues such as the Pendle witch trials, Suffrage, Me Too movement. I also want to have a strong connection with the natural world, which historically seemed to be a female power base. -

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