“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.”
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Presenting the first UK solo show from fine art photographer and multidisciplinary artist, Anouska Beckwith.
This exhibition follows Beckwith’s 2015 solo debut, Transcendence, held at Three Squares Studio in New York and group exhibitions in Paris, London and Gstaad, Switzerland across the last five years.
Beckwith’s photography and films draw upon diverse themes such as early alchemy, Buddhist and Hindu storytelling, shamanic practice, and the mythology of the ancient Greeks, Romans and medieval England to investigate the feminine role throughout history.
As the artist explains:
“Until two thousand years ago we lived in Matriarchal societies where women were seen as the givers of life and instilled as the keepers of peace, healers and, in many different countries, the priestesses of worship. Then, women and men saw animals as messengers communicating insights from the spiritual world that nowadays we would not acknowledge.
My work incorporates references that have been forgotten in history, as I believe that in order for us to restore the natural balance of our planet we need to be awakened to what has been lost as we and our societies have evolved.”
Uni ~ Verse positions its viewers as part of one universal song whose melody looks set to be quickly silenced by the impending end of the Earth. In photographs which observe nature at its finest, set within an immersive organic installation, Beckwith sets out to encourage gratitude and guardianship of the Earth.
The trauma of this global destruction is portrayed through Beckwith’s striking black and white series War In Heaven (2016), in which nude fallen angels writhe in amongst the rocks of the Earth, enduring its pain and suffering, having been cast out of the skies above.
The theme of the betrayed woman continues with The Mists of Avalon (2013), as the young priestess Morgaine raises her red cloak defiantly. Inspired by Morgan le Fay of Arthurian legend, here the patriarchal story is retold through a woman’s eyes with Morgaine cast not as a deceptive enchantress but as a powerful women who fights to protect her matriarchal pagan culture.
Feminine endurance remains the focal point with The Handless Maiden (2016) which depicts a young daughter who has been mutilated as a result of her father’s deal with the Devil. However, with nature offering its fruits to her, she survives the underground forest to receive a pair of precious silver hands.
The teaching of endurance is one of the rites of the Earth Mother or the Empress, who in turn passes on her strength to her children. In Uni ~ Verse The Empress (2016) appears as a glowing light box installation, warming the dimly lit gallery space. Dressed in the alchemic colours of blue, yellow and gold to symbolise her intelligence and faith, positivity and energy, and divine love, she is surrounded by a flock of blue tits.
Beckwith gives the Empress the totem of the blue tit as, ever since the ancient Greeks wrote that their gods transformed themselves into small birds, these creatures have continued to symbolise a brighter future.
The model for this work, British folk singer Flo Morrissey, will perform an acoustic set during the opening event on 16 September.
Anouska Beckwith is a photographer and multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Paris.
Born in England, Beckwith spent her early years travelling. Driven by her search for the mystical and a desire to capture the wonder she experienced along the way, her camera was never far from hand. After graduating from Speos Photographic Institute in 2012, Beckwith went on to form the female collective of artists World Wide Women.
Expressing herself through photography, art, film and poetry; nature and the feminine are enduring themes while Beckwith's work inspires a romantic and otherworldly feel, revealing a glimpse of her dreamlike fantasies.
Awarded with honours for Catcher in the Rye by the alumni of Speos Photographic Institute in 2012/2013, Beckwith’s recent exhibitions have included What's Up at Soho Revue, London, Erotica Exhibition at The Little Shop, Paris and Art District Gallery at Le Royal Monceau, Paris in 2016. Exhibitions in 2015 comprised Female Matters and Metamorphosis in London, and Transcendence solo show at Three Squares Studio, New York. In 2014 Beckwith curated and exhibited in Ritual at London’s Grace Belgravia and Cob Gallery, and held group exhibitions across the UK, France, USA and Switzerland throughout 2012 and 2013.
Beckwith has been featured in: Italian Vogue, Wonderland Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Another Magazine, ID, Aesthetica Magazine, Vogue (UK), So It Goes Magazine, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar (Brazil, England), Elle Magazine (UK), Marie Claire, Luxx Magazine, Tatler, Huffington Post, Palace Costes Magazine, The Untitled Magazine, Virditas (Magpie Magazine), Creators Connect, After Nyne, The Cutlure Trip, Refinery 29 & Science Occultes.
Palm Tree was founded out of a desire to create an artistic environment that is approachable and comfortable to spend time in. Although the focus is on fostering the talents of up-and-coming fine and design artists, the gallery is open to working with all creative disciplines and aim to create a space that has the feeling between a record shop in 1970s and the art salons of Paris in the 1920s.