Taking its title from a Proverbs verse warning men of immoral women, Lips Like Honey is a solo exhibition of works by Newcastle-based artist Matilda Sutton. Her work is an exploration into the relationship between women and wild animals.
At a time where we are witnessing Instagram and globalisation create an eerily homogenous aesthetic across women’s markets, including fashion and beauty, Matilda’s paintings and sculptural pieces evoke a response that goes beyond ‘refreshing’; through comedy and the mildly grotesque we can’t help but feel that some balance is restored and that the beauty standards of social media never were real.
The allure of Matilda’s work lies largely in two places: lovingly personal textures and the marriage of the familiar and the surreal. Women are conditioned to not only hate their bodies but also be sexy around the clock, regardless of whether or not they are actively on the pull. Matilda’s women are hairy, they’re unclothed, their legs are splayed… one looks over her shoulder at you, devoid of the Bedroom Eyes and availability that is supposed to be switched on 24/7. The fact that the figures we see in these works are immersed in nature feels very fitting, yet ironic; that which is expected of women is, and always has been, rooted in the misnomer of being “natural” and ordered: subordinated, clean, domesticated, kempt, bleeding but discreet.
Framing this exhibition now in the context of global crises involving bodies and the environment concurrently, we can see more than ever the absurd, atavistic, incessant critiquing directed at women. Matilda’s paintings of woman and beast as bedfellows highlight this perfectly, and this winter we ask you to escape reality for a moment and experience a different kind of chaos, a different kind of wildness; one that the social being in us has been conditioned to resist.
Considering society’s over-saturation of images, Lips Like Honey will give visitors the chance to meditate upon a small number of works closely. A playlist and text will accompany the show on letsmakelotsofmonet.com.
Booking via the Eventbrite link above is highly encouraged to allow for social distancing. Masks must be worn in the space and hand sanitiser will be available.
Back Room Gallery, Holdron’s Arcade, 135a Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST from 25 – 29 November. Times: 12-6pm Wednesday-Saturday, 12-4pm Sunday. Admission: Free. Booking time slots: