A call went out for Beasties, and the response slipped and slithered in: Creatures from the Black Lagoon, Slithery Serpents from under Black Rocks, Flying Winged Vultures swooping down from Black Skies.
There was a natural flow in the gathering of creatures. And there was quite a bit of laughter from the humor in some of the seemingly funny but actually not whimsical at all but rather unsettling in an off-kilter /disturbing aspect from which the humor deflected.
But what proved particularly interesting were the recurring themes. Images not simply of animals in fairy tales, but the repeated images of the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. Stripped bare and frankly sexually viewed, or diagrammed and analytically plotted, the ancient tale remains a viable vehicle for viewing men and women in society today.
Employing collage in a pristine void ultimately spoke more lucidly than the thrashing and bashing of most wild brushstrokes. Here the blade proved mightier than the pen in works which fractured for a vision more eloquent than cohesion.
And then, far darker than any imaginings or inner demons, there was the ecological messenger of mess: the jellyfish. Predators overfished from the oceans, multiplying with abandon in ever warmer waters, unruffled by acidity or dead zones, jellyfish bloom, clog and halt, interfere and proceed undeterred. They reflect our own environmental horrors and present us with endlessly distressing scenarios. Jellyfish, the new Creature of the Black Lagoon.
Like a song of call and response, the open exhibition frames and gives structure to the daily concerns and real life matters of the respondents. Across a wide range of media, the artists represented here have created works revealing the inner struggle, the daily conflict, the recurring nightmare.