Cthulu was a LADY? Bridgetown Gallery plays host to sequinned “Battle Of the Sexes” of Alberta Whittle
Back in the late 30’s, an author by name of August Derleth tried to create an archetypal clash of Pure against Profane with the squid-headed demonic Cthulu – a character from HP Lovecraft’s fevered psyche. Neil Gaiman once gave a humourous memoir of the Jungian nightmare-avatar as if it can recall the angst of teen-Elder Godhooded-ness! But never has HP Lovecraft’s amoral extraterrestrial and supernatural being been viewed as female, until now…
This is part of the premises entwined within Alberta Whittle’s “Bad Man, A-Bad Man” now on at the Bridgetown Gallery and also examines the axiom of Caribbean males as vaunted as Greek Demi-Gods like Perseus and Hercules, while the cephalopod aspect not only hearkens to the horror of Lovecraft’s Ultra-Villain but transformed into a female dynamic as Octopi for Alberta’s view are vaginal and therefore female. So Women are threats to Men’s masculinity?
If so, is this what makes Caribbean males violent? Remorse at the loss of the right to exhibit their testosterone snits? Was this Theseus’ secret fear when hunting down the Minotaur? Was he really destroying a part of himself for the glory of Clitoral Harmony? When one looks at the lyrics of Elephant Man’s ode to Jamaican gang life, there are firearm references galore and blood running – they should do well on R’lYeh!
While Alberta’s collages and other mixed-media are rendered in the form of an Installation, each piece is its own little R’lYeh – uh – Universe! She is also bedazzled at the concept of masks in everyday life, thus her Frankenstar which looks like a scarecrow and this other character which looks like its out of that Jack Black Mexicomedy, Nacho Libre.
What many photographs do not do, is give proper justice to Alberta’s intricate work of embedding the sequins for each work;-
There’s one more week to head into the City and snap up some genuine Caribbean arcana! Saturday 3rd April is the last day, hurry!