Thursday 5 October 2017

Review: Clara Engel – 'Songs For Leonora Carrington'

'Songs For Leonora Carrington' 

The chiming and reverberating guitar is like the alternate space made immanent in Carrington's visual work. Populated by part-human part-animal characters, the stories within the lyrics of these songs echo with a magical realism that gets to the heart of the listener. The lyrics evoke imagery of the artist and writer who inspired them with an eloquence that gets more cutting the deeper one lets them sink in. 

In the body of work of Leonora Carrington surrealism and weird fiction intersect in a magical heightened reality, though she explored territories deeper and well beyond what most of her contemporary surrealists and brought soul to her cosmically unsettling scenarios. Carrington's work differed from contemporary surrealists in that her vision was less drawn from dreams and derangement of the senses, like Dali's paranoiac-critical method, but thoughts and emotions made manifest and precisely rendered in a way that feels familiar.

In a similar way, on 'Songs For Leonora Carrington' arrangements are left open and airy, arranged tightly as poems with a masterful economy of elements. Anubeth’s werecubs are birthed in the head of the listener and may just jump out in a hyperstitional proliferation. Its fictions illustrate the real on many levels, but the intent is also to populate the world with its creations. 'Songs For Leonora Carrington' is a tribute of one artist for another that stands as a testament to the strength and creative vision of both. Carrington's universe is blurred into the shadowy and incandescently luminous realm created by Clara Engel. 

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