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Candice Tripp moved from her native Cape Town, South Africa, to London in 2004. Like the realm of traditional fairytales, the world of South African born Candice Tripp is both magical and macabre.
In this domain, melancholic children and all manner of beasts are executed in oil and ink; it is a place where both joy and sorrow are as sharp as swords.
Childlike subjects add a sense of innocence to her work, though it is executed with a brutal wit that is unquestionably adult. Beautiful, illustrative, and dark, it is the very strangeness and richness of these figures that beckons us into their enchanted world.
Sedate children and their animal companions are stylishly executed in miniature, and give vision to the lessons and warnings of fables.
Suspended in a world of white negative space, we are enticed to allow our imagination to build the content and context of their bizarre and gently humorous action.
Tripp’s work implores us to enter her world, shut the gate and toss away the keys.
In June 2011 Black Rat Projects hosted this tumble down the rabbit hole, for a one-night introduction to Candice Tripp’s work. Descending the staircase to the narrow kingdom of Morrell House and we expected the unexpected and were not disappointed. In July 2012 Black Rat Projects went on to host Candice’s solo exhibition and installation ‘Petit Mal’. Exploring themes of normality, insanity, order, disorder and the dark innocence of childhood ‘Petit Mal’ envisions Tripp’s perception of infant ‘petit mal’ syndrome as “a brief interruption of consciousness”. Candice explains:
While I was painting, I kept thinking about a small town full of young, isolated inhabitants and how every place, to a degree, has “a way” of doing things, a way which is rarely interrupted until an outsider witnesses and draws attention to it I found myself thinking a lot about an interruption of consciousness - in the sense of it occurring in a group. I tend to paint a fraction of a story- often either prelude or aftermath – and so I ended up focusing on fictitious (often awkward social) scenarios occurring in a town that is unaware of its single-minded lapse in judgement; Cult-like. The idea being that children who don’t outgrow it, will fall victim to it.