Friday 1 February 2019

Drawing the Black

Drawing the Black, by Mary Christea, 

at the Frissiras Museum.

This work is inspired by the black period of Goya and in particular

The Witches' Sabbath, 1798.

Deeply affected by the French invasion in Spain in 1810-1920, Goya conveys in a series of works (The Execution, Black Paintings) the struggle of the Spanish people, their resistance and their pain. The work shows the devil in the form of a goat, surrounded by a coven of disfigured, young and aging witches in a moonlit barren landscape.

In her introduction to Drawing the Black, which includes a video installation and a series of oil paintings, Christea explains how much she has been affected by the recent years of crisis in Greece and how the hardship of the Greek people reminded her of Goya's works.

'The figures of Goya become topical figures of the present: the desperate, the sick beggar, the junkie, the violent, the bully, the indifferent, the resigned, the rebel, the begging woman, the scared man, the victim and the hunter. A single sinister thread joins past and present, hinting at the dark, repetitive circles of human history. By drawing and 'illuminating' the Black, visually as well as physically, I choose to enact all these roles myself.... Drawing the Black is a close observation of our fellow humans,  empathy for, and acceptance of, those near us'.

The video is a slow, atmospheric re-enactment of Goya's painting, set in modern times. It was hypnotic.

A series of portrait drawings and paintings is also on show:


  1. The portraits are especially powerful.

    1. They are indeed, Olga. The first time I was able to see them properly was when I looked at my photos: the room was very dark because of the video, and they had hung them so high (at least 7 feet up I would say) that it was impossible to see anything. So, I just extended my arm and clicked and clicked. They are powerful indeed, but I fear that they are going to be ignored - a pity.