It’s a horror-themed show: just in time for the spooky season! | 25 Oct - 13 Nov
Beware! Do not repeat the name of this show three times. You may conjure something wicked.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
Newcastle artist Rosie Turner exorcises personal trauma through a life-long love of horror films. Her new exhibition — Bloody Mary — arrives just in time for Halloween and invites you to creep into a uniquely dark world inspired by local history and folklore.
Following a series of tragedies earlier this year, Rosie Turner decided to recommit herself to her art practice with a renewed focus. While she uses painting as a way to process the events of her life and connect more deeply with her interests, she says there is one motivating force that keeps her going: death.
“I'm dying,” says Turner “I mean in the general kind of way that we are all dying … and that means I need to be really disciplined with my time outside of work to get the best out of every day”.
In Bloody Mary, which opens at The All Story in Newcastle on 25 October, Turner wrestles with death through the use of occult symbols, tarot art, magic words, palmistry diagrams, and religious imagery. She has also managed to tie in some inspiration from the classic horror cinema of her childhood: from A Nightmare on Elm Street to The Thing. But it is an interest in gothic storytelling, in particular, the concept of the Australian Gothic that underpins the show. She says that over the years she has studied tales of the uncanny and true crime from the Newcastle and Hunter Region which have allowed her to connect her own experiences to the genre and transform them into entirely new stories and artworks.
When pressed for a local spooky story to share, Turner offers up this gem, which provides a great sense of what to expect from the show: “Once upon a time, there were lots of bodies buried in wooden coffins, high up on the grounds of Christchurch Cathedral. Now, imagine what happens when rainwater soaks into earth, seeps into the coffins of your dead and dearly departed, past the rotting fingernails and slime-covered teeth, and continues to flow down through the ground into the water wells? You have a population drinking corpse juice for afternoon tea. This is one of the reasons why Newcastle established its first water reservoir”.
In terms of the response that she’d like to elicit from Bloody Mary, Turner says “I would be delighted if some of the images from my show resonated with people. Whether that's because it was weird or beautiful I don't mind so long as it haunts them. Like a ghost!”
Bloody Mary by Rosie Turner X opens 6pm Friday 25 October at The All Story, 7 Robert Street Wickham and runs until 13 November.