Archetypes 4: Pegasus (2018, watercolour)

The artist returns to her Archetypes series with a high-octane rendition of one of the most represented figures from Greek mythology: Pegasus, the winged stallion born from Medusa’s death and ridden by Bellerophon in his battle against the Chimera.

The blurring and indistinct forms give the sense of movement at great speed: winged horse and rider, perhaps, passing in a flash on their way to heroic immortality among the stars. With her characteristic wry turn, though, the artist chooses a childish pink-purple to render this most famous of classical archetypes, recalling the unicorn and cartoon pony motifs ubiquitous among clothing and iconography aimed at today’s young girls.

From this contrast gallops a constellation of questions. Is heroism solely the preserve of the male? What does it mean to be a hero, and can a hero wear pink? Can the classical archetypes – with their uneasy, polymorphous aggression and sexual energy – speak to, or beyond, the aggressive colour-coding of playthings, stories and iconographies marketed at today’s youth, the sanitised and sexist world manufactured for young people today?