Another maybe
in The medium of Leonora Carrington
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Chapter 2 is a consideration of Carrington in the realm of fashion photography and performance art, leading to a discussion around cult status intersecting with pop culture. Tim Walker and Tilda Swinton (b.1960) summoned Leonora Carrington most potently in two iconic fashion stories, firstly for W Magazine (2013) then for i-D Magazine (2017). In these colourful and sumptuously upholstered scenes, with their eccentric perspectives, Swinton inhabits the irrational corners of the imagination, embodying the characters of Carrington’s visual narratives and borrowing from her distinctive iconography. Swinton portrays figures such as the medieval jester in Carrington’s painting Darvault (1950) and the robed creature in And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur (1953), among others. The overall effect is one of embodied storytelling, an intergenerational dialogue with Carrington as a medium to be working in and through. The sense of excess and abundance presented here is a contrast to a sparer, cooler aesthetics found in other facets of Swinton’s practice such as The Maybe (1995) where the actor displayed herself asleep in a vitrine. Swinton’s more recent curatorial projects are also considered, thus segueing into the next chapter.

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The medium of Leonora Carrington

A feminist haunting in the contemporary arts

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