We have the pleasure of Lily Dean’s work this month in the window.
Fitting times for the current political climate.
Read all about this piece below.
This Sculpture imagines what the puppet Mr Punch would be if he came to life . A right wing , Brexiter end of the pier comedian. I have looked at real life “seedy” comedians like Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning and Roy Chubby Brown who all deliver a dark and uneasy comedy popular with the right wing and those opposed to “political correctness gone mad”.
Their comedy is often homophobic, racist violent towards women. This parallels to when punch hits Judy with the slap stick for comic effect. These comedians’ offensive stage personas often ran into their personal lives; Jim Davidson was in reality a wife beater. They both had prime time slots and were seen as family entertainment (e.g the generation game ).
They characterised women as either ugly controlling matriarchs: wife, mother-in-law or sexually attractive and available `dolly birds just as the female characters in Punch and Judy are. Judy being the nagging old wife and Punch’s mistress Pretty Polly being as her name suggests.
Punch very much like Pinocchio is a Puppet that has come to life. I have referenced this by extending his nose but making it more explicitly phallic. In Pinocchio when he lies his nose grows, I wanted to add an element of the grotesque and obscene to this idea and add in something to signify the misogyny and masculinity in my imagined character for Mr Punch.It is also to highlight the lies the British public were told in the run up to Brexit from politicians like Boris Johnson.
Using the England flag instead of the traditional puppet tent because the artist wants to raise questions about the connotations of the St George’s flag and the adoption of the flag by the far right. The use of a symbol that has been adapted by racist groups reflects the racism in traditional Punch and Judy shows;
Mr Punch in Punch and Judy shows is depicted as physically grotesque with an enormous nose and chin and hunchback . In this piece I wanted to draw parallels between ideas of the “real” and the “artificial” and this can be seen in the use of materials to depict Mr Punch as a real character the use of wax was to show a skin like fleshiness and to add realistic detail.
She used wax to get across the clammy appearance of the character and the unhealthy yellow of colour reflects the unhealthy attitudes held by the Character. Wax enables the realistic and grotesque-dead eyes and leery grimace. Lily used quality glass eyes to give it an uncanny realism. In contrast Judy remains a puppet she is small and made of felt and can not move independently and in every scene still is an object. This highlights visually the violence and misogyny in both Punch and Judy shows but a lot of traditional humour and entertainment.
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