Titania, 2020

Acrylic on canvas, 182cm x 122cm

Becky Atherton

Becky Atherton’s work explores mythological representations of women and how such stories have been influenced and reengineered by patriarchy. Using a surrealist / fantasy style, she wants to challenge the materialistic patriarchal society we live in, encouraging people to think beyond the limits of religion, domestic lives, money, and wealth and to explore stories and other possibilities and ways of being and thinking. Visually, she intermingles female mythological characters with modern-day and historical scenarios, such as the Pendle witch trials, suffrage, and the #MeToo movement.

Titania is based on William Shakespeare’s queen of the fairies. My Titania is winged, but she is also shackled. I have taken my inspiration from the sculpture of Alice Nutter by David Palmer, located in Rouglee Village in Lancashire. Alice Nutter was an English woman accused and hanged as a result of the Pendle witch hunt. By combining the Titania and Alice, I want to evoke the strength of women, which throughout the centuries has been systematically attacked.”