In
Ena Swansea’s Gay Wedding, the artist draws unexpected narrative
from painterly abstraction. Playing light against dark, Swansea’s
forms billow and writhe with delicate fancy: fairytale ‘goddesses’
of chastity, unblemished in their virginal gowns. Enshrined
in silvery celebration, Swansea’s scene is contorted with
a certain stiffness: staged like actors in a play, the figures’
choreographed position carries underlying significance. Redolent
of Paula Rego’s scenes of contemporary mythology, Swansea’s
monumental burlesque brides convey tumultuous undertones:
demur beneath their flouncy parasol, wristwatch hidden behind
a back, Swansea portrays glorified romance as a folly of seduction.

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