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Wolf at the door (installation detail)

Fiona Pole
Wolf at the door (installation detail), 2014. Etching .

'Fables and other stories'

Fiona Pole at Gallery AOP

Primarily a printmaker, Fiona Pole has over a number of years managed to capture the attention of the art world with her very personal, yet universal subject-matter and her subtly unconventional approach to the printmaking process. Simplified forms are presented in often complex spatial relationships that are echoed in the seeming ease with which she applies various traditional printmaking techniques. The ones appearing most frequently are the dress, the suit case, the bicycle, and the airplane.  They are very personal symbols in her work. Not only do these form an objective correlative for the feelings Pole wants to suggest, but they also form a network of images to interpret and understand the conceptual nature of her work. 

In her new body of work, Pole has added a whole new suite of symbols. They are, among others, the fox, the wolf and the bear. Pole has drawn extensively on literary works for inspiration when she made these. Chiefly, are the French fairy tales with which she became very familiar, reading them to her two children when she and her family still lived in Paris. No fewer that fifteen of the new etchings have as their subject matter, these tales. The wolf appears in many other works as well. 'Children in South Africa', she maintains, 'do not really know wolves, but they hear about them in fairy tales. So, the wolf has become a veritable bogey man for them.' This inexplicable fear of the unknown is one of the many new strands Pole explores in her work. Interpreting the work, one is reminded of Claude Levy Strauss, who once said that animals are not only good to eat; they are good to thinkwith. And that is the strength in Pole’s new work: she provides the viewer with a new vocabulary, with new metaphors with which to think about her art.

Saturday 8 February at 11:00  Fiona Pole will do a walkabout, which will include a printing demonstration at the atelier, her studio at 44 Stanley. Because of limited space, booking is essential

Workshop for children  During the exhibition, a special interactive space will be available for children. Fiona Pole will conduct a workshop with children on Saturday 15 February at 10:00. All children welcome

01 February - 22 February

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