Artist Sig Waller has been very busy with 2 excellent new projects, Shadow Play and Happy Homes, both of which will form part of a new exhibition to be held later this month.
Sig’s latest work has been inspired by a 1950s book called “Happy Homes”, which is described on its frontispiece as “an indispensable guide to housewives and home lovers everywhere.”
Sig has sabotaged the book’s illustrations creating a humorous and pointed critique of the prescribed roles for women within the home. Shadow Play presents an unsettling cartoon figure manipulating a 1950’s housewife (excitedly frothing at the mouth with toothpaste?) through a series of household chores. While Happy Homes is bleaker and more critically of the enforced relationships between women and home, where objects objects and electrical goods take on a controlling, religious, almost sexual and menacing quality, with the figures isolated in darkened voids on blood soaked floors. The images are like stills from a David Lynch movie, but far more potent and disturbing, each creating their own narrative that leaves the viewer unsettled.
Shadow Play will form part of an exhibition called Happy Homes, which will feature work by Sig Waller and Chris Shaw Hughes. Here’s the blurb:
Family life tends to be portrayed as blissful, idyllic and safe, but reality often tells a different story.
In this show, Hughes and Waller explore the dark circumference of the family circle, exposing the crumbling façade and the unseen stories behind the saccharine smiles that stare out at us from family albums or media and advertising photography. What lies beneath this apparent perfection?
‘Happy Homes’ explores these boundaries, the everyday secrets that families seek to contain and withhold. Found imagery is given new meaning, reality is warped and altered – or is it?
They say “the camera never lies”, but the power of the photographed image lies in its ability to conceal or to contain both truth and falsehood. On closer inspection, the ordinary almost always becomes extraordinary.
Happy Homes opens on January 25th-February 17th, 2013, at Krefeld, 35 Blumen eV - Blumenstrasse 35 47799 Krefeld. More details here.
Shadow Play and Happy Homes on the Sig Waller site and on Facebook and Tumblr.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Beautiful Fevered Dreams: The Art of Sig Waller
Sig Waller: ‘Our capacity for cruelty and suffering is timeless, as is our ability to look away’
More of Sig Waller’s ‘Happy Homes’, after the jump….