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Arts & Culture

Fiona Berry

Fiona Berry, Lion-man, 2024, Wood and Paint

Fiona Berry, Lion-man, 2024, Wood and Paint

Fiona Berry draws inspiration from folkloric objects, stories, songs to build a fantastic, dreamlike world; one which promises an escape from rules, conventions and limitations of this world, uprooting and unravelling feelings of restraint. Berry’s work are landscapes of the mind in its ephemeral and shapeshifting character. She is particularly interested in the ways archetypes and symbols that surface from the unconscious commonly relate to power, gender, place and belonging. Berry lives and works in London. She holds a first-class degree in Intermedia Art from Edinburgh College of Art and a postgraduate diploma from the Royal Drawing School.

The sculptures exhibited in Pasts to Come, do not reference a particular period or cultural context, yet they are instantly recognisable as products of a mythical imagination. As such, the artworks challenge the viewer to formulate the narratives that they may be illustrating. Berry’s visual and poetic references include artworks from the last ice age, such as the “lion man” of the Stadel Cave, Germany, but equally in modern iterations such as Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête, the cowardly lion in Wizard of Oz, and Nina Simone’s Sinnerman. The sculptures explore a perennial human fascination with the slippery borders between man, animal, and daemon.

Outside of established religion, there is a yearning for objects endowed in meaning and for costume and settings that enables us to transcend our ordinary situation. Berry is interested in how we as humans have created visual representations of our belief systems across cultures and time and how we use these images to transcend, transform and ultimately to establish the mental courage and stability to overcome and give meaning to challenges in our lives and the mysteries we can’t explain. Her goal is to express the power to be had through resourcefulness and the imagination.

2024_05_01_ Lion-man, Fiona Berry thumbnail

Fiona Berry, O Wicked one, 2022, Lime Wood and Paint 

2024_05_01_O Wicked One, Fiona Berry thumbnail

The Lion Man from Stadel Cave, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 40,000 BC ©Ulmer Museum. 

2024_05_01_ Double Head, Fiona Berry thumbnail

Fiona Berry, Double Heads, 2019, Wood and Emulsion Paint 

Project status: Completed