The earliest written version of Beauty and the Beast dates back as early at 1740, from a French novelist who had no idea that her fairy story would become the muse of animators (who could forget the re-naming of Beauty to Belle in Disney’s beloved sing-along?), surrealists, and most recently released last month, live action film with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens taking the title roles.
It is little wonder with her magical re-interpretations of subversive legends that Kerry Darlington approached the curious and at times frightening story of a young girl who wanders into a dark castle, only to be held imprisoned by an enchanted male with a new eye, hoping to introduce a fresh perspective. The natural follow up to 'Snow White Rose Red', 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'The Snow Queen'; the painting features an adolescent girl embracing a fierce but powerful lion. Encouraging us to consider what strength is rather than what it looks like, the artist approaches the dichotomy that we are both are our own greatest assets and our own biggest downfalls.