Hereford – Market art studios

First Fridays – Invited artist.

Installation – October 2021.

Monkey Stiltskin’s Conundrum.

The monkey on this stage of sorts, plays chess against self. It is also being played a game with. A puppet monkey. It can’t win. A vicious circle. A trap made of reflections imposed by ‘other’. A character controlled. 

This piece previously formed a type of chapter in two larger installations made two years ago; ‘A Never-Ending Story’ and ‘The Ending is Always the Beginning’. It seemed to me that some of the work I’d created during this time, of which this was one, partly reflected aspects of a relationship that I had been in at the time. 

I’ve updated this piece by name and by adding new objects around it in an attempt to describe a subtle type of deceptive behaviour called gaslighting, which is deliberately employed to hide behaviour that an individual does not want you to see. It causes those close in to them to start doubting their own personal judgement and perception of events. The process is slow and almost imperceptible, until it is far too late.

I want to try and comprehend aspects of this behaviour, but I also know that I can’t. It is a conundrum that can only be solved by not playing a game that you don’t know, and can never know the rules to…

The money thrown on the floor speaks of gambling. Monopoly notes – a game that goes on and on. Boxes relate to home and security. The open box has a Victorian poison bottle with a real £10 pound note inserted (there is a rather uncomfortable story attached to this but too long for here) and some dice. The mirrored glasses, a charmer’s mask. The kitten gently indicates a way out and the sticks relate to breaking the ‘spell’. Ending. Snap!