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Faye Eleanor Woods 'The Grass Are Green, The Flowers Are Brown & Crimson'

Fully illustrated publication to coincide with the solo exhibition 'The Grass Are Green, The Flowers Are Brown & Crimson' by Faye Eleanor Woods at Anima Mundi, St IVes

Fully illustrated publication to coincide with the solo exhibition 'The Grass Are Green, The Flowers Are Brown & Crimson' by Faye Eleanor Woods at Anima Mundi, St IVes

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F A Y E E L E A N O R W O O D S


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Grass</strong> are <strong>Green</strong>, <strong>The</strong> <strong>Flowers</strong> is <strong>Brown</strong> and Crimson


Go on, jump!<br />

No.<br />

Jump, jump!<br />

No. <strong>The</strong> grass are green, the flowers is brown<br />

and crimson, so I shall not.<br />

And besides, two centimetres is not far even if<br />

you are small.<br />

I command you to jump.<br />

Alright, I shall jump. But you are a fool, because<br />

I am stuck and you know it. You stuck me.<br />

Ivor Cutler, ‘Go On Jump’ 1967<br />

<strong>Faye</strong> <strong>Eleanor</strong> <strong>Woods</strong> sensual paintings act<br />

as a love letter to her own experience, full<br />

of life’s joy, absurdity, humour, loss and<br />

fear. Using raw pigments and acrylic ink<br />

she forces rich colour into the grain of<br />

the canvas, blurring edges with copious<br />

amounts of water or using thin layers of oil<br />

to blend the figures with their backgrounds<br />

creating an ethereal presence. As <strong>Woods</strong><br />

says “I try to bring attention to the surreal<br />

aspects of life and the way the oddness of<br />

experience manifests within individuals and<br />

how that manifestation then affects me. In<br />

my vulnerability I crave strange moments of<br />

intimacy. I imagine drinking straight from<br />

the tap of all emotion, drinking so much<br />

of it, I take on too much and I’m sick and<br />

everything I spew out ends up in my work.”<br />

Inherently influenced by British folklore and<br />

folk horror, Wood’s paintings tell their own<br />

tales rooted in corporeal experience which<br />

then becomes heightened or exaggerated<br />

resulting in a form of magical realism. A<br />

spirit of excess runs throughout the scenes<br />

that she depicts. Empowered yet vulnerable,<br />

the behaviour of paint sensualises her ruby<br />

red mouths, flushed cheeks, pert nipples and<br />

knees rubbed raw. Dancing, leaping, cavorting<br />

figures in various states of consciousness<br />

or undress, partake in a bacchanale which<br />

defies the hypocrisy of supposed propriety<br />

and convention, challenging the stiff upper<br />

lip. Eyes shine with ecstatic bewitchment as<br />

her animalistic protagonists dance and leap<br />

in a debaucherous state which teeters on<br />

the fine line edge between calamity and joy.<br />

What is conveyed is the relatable oddness<br />

that exists between the magical and the<br />

mundane. I am reminded of folk horror writer<br />

Arthur Machan who once said “Strangeness<br />

which is the essence of beauty is the essence<br />

of truth, and the essence of the world.”<br />

A lot of the works depict a state of ritualistic<br />

intoxication, where the prosaic setting of<br />

the pub or club acts as a tangible stage<br />

for otherly experience. <strong>The</strong>se are places<br />

within our society which exist seemingly<br />

independently from the outside realm of<br />

the humdrum or everyday. <strong>The</strong>y can be<br />

wild places where one can get ‘out of their<br />

heads’, where what occurs within the walls<br />

appears unburdened by the expectations of<br />

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uttoned up convention. Wood’s states “I<br />

often think of visiting a ‘local’ in a small<br />

town on holiday and how much I like the<br />

judgement of the townspeople, the odd<br />

traditions, the sense of the history of the<br />

place baked into the carpets along with the<br />

spilt ales. For the wild and lost it is a place<br />

of sanctity, taking on a role once fulfilled in<br />

Britain by the church”.<br />

<strong>Woods</strong> obsession with ritual may stem from<br />

long cold church masses spent with her<br />

Catholic Grandma as a child, but she was<br />

also raised by Pagan parents who she says<br />

“spent many sleepless nights still or in<br />

motion around bonfires.” This interesting<br />

dichotomy has ultimately led to an anxious<br />

attachment to the dramatics of worship<br />

and the otherworldly. <strong>Woods</strong> jokes that “It<br />

helped that the blood of Christ was often<br />

cheap brandy, something which has always<br />

had a very visceral appeal!”<br />

<strong>The</strong>se works also depict the natural<br />

landscape, away from the civilised gaze of<br />

society, where field or forest becomes stage<br />

for further abandon. Trees twist and flora<br />

takes on a sense of sentience. She states<br />

her “attempt to recreate the feeling of being<br />

both lost and yet found in the wild. It is as<br />

though those that can thrive in the wild can<br />

become embedded”. <strong>The</strong>se landscapes feel<br />

both simultaneously mystical and terrestrial,<br />

portraying the unnerving psychogeography<br />

of rural Britain.<br />

I hope that these works challenge you by<br />

lifting a guarded veil and presenting the<br />

messy pleasure and pain of living. For wood’s<br />

this exhibition of paintings is a tangilble<br />

form of inner catharsis. I am reminded of<br />

Charles Bukowsi who once wrote “Drinking<br />

is an emotional thing. It joggles you out<br />

of the standardism of everyday life, out of<br />

everything being the same. It yanks you out<br />

of your body and your mind and throws<br />

you against the wall. I have the feeling that<br />

drinking is a form of suicide where you’re<br />

allowed to return to life and begin all over<br />

the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and<br />

then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about<br />

ten or fifteen thousand lives now.”<br />

Joseph Clarke, 2023<br />

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I Have Sold My Soul For This Pint,<br />

And I Have No Regrets<br />

(For Lady Sybil of the Moors)<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, 167 x 304 cm<br />

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She Out Drank the Devil<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, 117 x 81 cm<br />

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Oh No! It’s Her!<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, 127 x 107 cm<br />

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Sell Ur Soul / Oh No This Was Just Supposed To Be a Casual Night Out!<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 127 x 92 cm<br />

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What Have You Got <strong>The</strong>re<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, 127 x 101 cm<br />

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I HATE Pool !<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 66 x 87 cm<br />

15


Hangover From Hell<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 26 x 21 cm<br />

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Disco Dancin’ / Havin’ a Party<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 127 x 92 cm<br />

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Communion<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 36 x 35.cm<br />

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Everything You Taught Me<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 36 x 31 cm<br />

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Dancin’ on My Own<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 167 x 152 cm<br />

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Fuck You, I Love An Irish Goodbye<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 183 x 111 cm<br />

27


Bogart Valley Dance<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 183 x 81 cm<br />

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Team Work Makes <strong>The</strong> Dream Work<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 183 x 107 cm<br />

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You Can’t Make Me Do <strong>The</strong> Washin’ Up, I Dont Want To!<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 92 x 122 cm<br />

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Slug / Hug<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 36 x 31 cm<br />

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Moon / Wet<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 36 x 31 cm<br />

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Havin’ A Party / <strong>The</strong> Wild Rumpus<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, 150 × 225 cm<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Dance Landfall of the Wickerman<br />

(1)<br />

raw pigment, mixed acrylic media & on oil paper, on canvas, 30 x , 60 106 cm<br />

x 86 cm<br />

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Blow Out Nose Smoke, It’s Dogs!<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 50 x 30 cm<br />

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Beware of the <strong>Flowers</strong> Because I’m Sure <strong>The</strong>y’re Gonna Get You, YEAH<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 26 x 21 cm<br />

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She’s A Firestarter / Don’t Play With Me Cos Your Playin’ With Fire<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 167 x 152 cm<br />

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I Will Burn It Down<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 26 x 21 cm<br />

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I Want It All<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 106 x 86 cm<br />

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I Will Bury Songs Myself From Under <strong>The</strong> Water That (6)<br />

Bad Tree<br />

raw pigment, mixed acrylic media & on oil paper, on canvas, 30 x , 60 127 cm<br />

x 107 cm<br />

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Aw Mate, She Has Defo Fucked That Tree! (For Isobel Strathaquin & Isobel Gowdie)<br />

raw pigment, acrylic & oil on canvas, , 80 x 45 cm<br />

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<strong>Faye</strong> <strong>Eleanor</strong> <strong>Woods</strong> is a Scottish artist currently living and<br />

working in the Calderdale Valley in West Yorkshire. Since<br />

graduation from Gray’s School of Art in 2021 and being<br />

heralded by Elephant Magazine as a ‘One to Watch’ in its ‘Pick<br />

Of <strong>The</strong> Years Most Exciting Art School Graduates’ feature, her<br />

work has quickly gained acclaim and has been widely exhibited<br />

including notable selection in the Royal Scottish Academy’s<br />

most recent ‘New Contemporaries’ exhibition. Anima Mundi<br />

are delighted to present ‘<strong>The</strong> <strong>Grass</strong> are <strong>Green</strong> and the <strong>Flowers</strong><br />

is <strong>Brown</strong> and Crimson’ which is her debut solo exhibition.


Published by Anima Mundi to coincide with <strong>Faye</strong> <strong>Eleanor</strong> <strong>Woods</strong> ‘<strong>The</strong> <strong>Grass</strong> <strong>Are</strong> <strong>Green</strong>, <strong>The</strong> <strong>Flowers</strong> <strong>Are</strong> <strong>Brown</strong> And Crimson’<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or<br />

by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers<br />

Anima Mundi . Street-an-Pol . St. Ives . Cornwall . +44 (0)1736 793121 . mail@animamundigallery.com . www.animamundigallery.com


www.animamundigallery.com

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