Salt And Mud: Capturing The Female Gaze
The exhibition exploring female eroticism through the eyes of Elsa Rouy and Lucia Farrow, photographed by Harley Weir.
Salt and mud is one of London’s most transgressive shows to join Kupfer’s this week. Curated by artists, Elsa Rouy and Lucia Farrow, in collaboration with Harley Weir and featuring guest artwork by Ariane Hughes; the exhibition takes its name from poet Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband, “...and kneeling at the edge of the transparent sea I shall shape for myself a new heart from salt and mud."
“In many ways, salt and mud is a perverse, twisted look at coming of age, by two artists who, despite already being of age, retain an undeniable air of girlish innocence.” reads a description for the collaboration. In a series of photographs shot by London-born photographer Harley Weir, Rouy and Farrow are dressed in their own hand-crafted flesh-coloured ceramics and latex pieces; eyes turned away from the camera lens, bodily fluids dripping from their faces, wet hair framing their bodies, limbs intertwined. Clay and mud is smeared all over, along with a layer of pink latex peeking through the walls, suggesting a barely-obscured dirtiness.
Along with the photographs, Farrow’s ceramic tiles as well as Rouy and Ariane Hughes’ small paintings, it is evident that their work is a sensual exploration of tensions and the sexualization of innocence.
Yet, Farrow and Rouy did not originally intend to explore the notions of girlhood, nor did they just want to disturb their viewers through their work. At its core, salt and mud is a culmination of their lived experiences as women, an exploration of female eroticism, a confrontation of our own corporeality, a revulsion of womankind’s presumed purity, obscenity, all through the powerful female gaze. Most importantly, it wants you to discern the way girlhood is sexualized by the observer.
salt and mud will be running till September 3rd at the Kupfer Project Space. You can get your tickets here.
Up Next, The Body As A Canvas: Carolee Schneeman’s Sexually Explicit Show Opens In London