evolution of swinetown...
Swinetown was conceived in Miss Brightside's hometown of Swindon during a catch-up with an old friend, Mark Pepperall. The pair met at College twenty years ago and one night, as quiet beers turned into cocktails, shots and midnight Biblob curry - ‘I say a curry but I usually just order 10 poppadums and eat more condiments; lime chutney and mint sauce, than one person should ever consume.' - they fell upon a fabulous idea. It all revolved around Pepperall's plan to establish Swindon's first contemporary art and design gallery, Oink.
Prior to this meet, Miss Brightside had been flirting in and out of Los Angeles, California, on a tourist visa for a year, but this Thursday night in October, 2015, Pepperall and Brightside's creative conversation saw Oink finally become tangible - so close to Super White paint splattered on flawless walls - and as if like magic, it was happening…
Pepperall suggested Brightside create an artwork for Oink Gallery's launch. The working brief describes the gallery namesake as a historical play on the original Anglo-Saxon settlement of Swindon.
Swindon once sat in a defensible position atop a limestone hill. The town is referred to in the Domesday Book as Suindune, believed to be derivative of the Old English words "swine" and "dun" meaning "pig hill”. The title Swinetown, was Brightsides’ interpretation of the Domesday Book's, Suindune.
To Brightside, the title and artwork of Swinetown reminded her of the BBC 2 series The League of Gentlemen and the fictional town Royston Vasey. ‘The level of “dark” comedy is comparable to the intention of satirical undertone in my work. In Swinetown I present a naive drawing method with a moral lesson which has been present since Eve took a bite of the apple from the forbidden tree,' claims Miss Brightside.
‘I use storytelling, in particular fairy tales, to narrate the artwork. Thus the story is of equal import to the art. Each fairytale artwork has its own moral tale. My artistic intent is for the viewer to listen to the narration of the fairy tale, whilst observing the artwork. This is to physically draw the viewer into the work, utilising both senses of sight and sound.'
The fairytale Brightside choose to modify in Swinetown is the Three Little Pigs. In Bruno Bettelheim's, The Uses of Enchantment, The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, 1975, Bettelheim suggests that, ‘the fairytale Three Little Pigs teaches the nursery age child in a most enjoyable and dramatic form, that we must not be lazy and take things easy, for if we do, we may perish. Intelligent planning and foresight combined with hard labour will make us victorious over even our most ferocious enemy - the wolf’.
In Brightside's adaptation of the Three Little Pigs; the pig represents the working class of the Victorian age. The wolf symbolises the darker side of man; excess, greed and complacency. In the classics Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the deep slumber symbolically represents an opportunity for growth and change. Like a caterpillar cocooning itself dormant, Swinetown is enchanted into a hibernation, patiently waiting to be recognised for the beautiful butterfly it actually is.
In addition, Brightside's role as a storyteller is to entwine historical information into her poems. (For example the NHS was founded in Swindon and she has added a nod to the song title Red Brick Dream by rock band TXC, who were formed in Swindon.)
Swinetown took a total three months' full time illustrating to research and complete.
Swinetown, released as a limited edition 1/25 artist print, Framed Size: 1230 x 1100mm Print: 940 x 810mm, available from Oink Gallery, £1500 - £1750 framed, a copy of the audio is given to each buyer. In the pipeline is a wallpaper available to purchase by the roll.