Artist Jane Lee McCracken’s intricate drawings in coloured Biro, which take weeks to create, explore her preoccupation with fairy tales, forests and wolves. Her new exhibition, The Woodcutter’s Cottage opens at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate on 6 July and runs until 8 September.
In the metaphorical dwelling of the woodcutter’s cottage, the epitome of where all the best fairy tales are told, Jane Lee McCracken’s installation brings together a collection of her Biro drawings and the objects inspired by them.
I think fairy tales were warnings to children about the brutality of life. They can be exceptionallybrutal – like life is. But they can also be very beautiful. I hope to create images which are beautiful but which underneath reveal brutality. I like juxtaposing hope and beauty with darker forces.
Jane discovered a love for drawing in Biro, from creating small pieces of art on Post-It notes to large-scale intricate multi-layered drawings using black or coloured Biro. Her subject matter comes from childhood memories, war, fairy tales, forests andanimals, found objects, her pet dog and film stills. Her aim is to create beautiful drawings which are often symbolic of difficult issues such as theaftermath of war and natural disasters thus creating memorials of lives, both human and animal, and of ways of life lost.
Jane Sellars, Harrogate Curator of Art said:
This year we are showcasing the work of three quite different women artists. Following on from a highly successful showing of new sculpture by Anne Thalheim, we now have the fascinating drawings and installation work of Jane Lee McCracken who is based in South Tyneside.
JANE LEE MCCRACKEN: The Woodcutter’s Cottage opens on 6 July and runs until 8 September 2013 in the North Gallery at Mercer Art Gallery,Swan Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Free entry.
The Woodcutter’s Cottage has been organized in partnership with the Customs House Gallery, South Shields and South Tyneside Council.