By Solange Kershaw and Damian Castaldi. SCULPTURE at Scenic World, April 12 to May 12 2019.
The animatronic (or kinetic sculpture) is in the form of Little Red Riding Hood and was inspired by an original illustration made by Jessie Wilcox Smith in 1911. The artist’s modern day take on the folktale revisits the theme and wonders what if she returned to the forest as the predator, not the prey? They were inspired to engage the viewer in a mysterious, playful and somewhat chilling way and this led them to reverse her traditional role.
Scenic World’s short interview with Damian is available on the Sculpture at Scenic World 2019 YouTube.
Her head is programmed to randomly turn her gaze from left to right throughout the landscape, constantly in search of her prey. For the artists this made her a slightly intelligent object, a little unpredictable and always changing her gaze.
Little Red Riding Hood as we know it was written in the 17th Century by Charles Perrault, with earlier poetic versions dating back to the 11th century and yet the sight of that little girl in her red hooded cape still fills us with an undefinable sense of dread more than two hundred years later.
What is it about some fairy tales that their creepiness transcends time? Is it because the dangers lurking within these stories still exist today? After all the moral of Little Red Riding Hood is stranger danger; ‘Children, especially attractive, well-bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf’. The only metaphor here is the wolf.
The Scenic World Facebook page has more information on the exhibition including times and booking a visit.