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On Monsters

So what is a monster? “A mythical creature part animal and part human” or “an ugly or deformed thing”? We preferred “something extraordinary, an amazing event or occurrence, a marvel”.

As we bring to life and to stage these three wonderful creatures from their myths, researching the existing literature on what it means to be a monster, what the word entails and what that has implied throughout time has been a crucial part of giving Siren, Charybdis and Scylla the voices they deserve in this piece.

Monsters have always been public figures for societies to project their own fears and worries onto, a way of starkly separating good from evil, and holding the unknown at a safe distance.

However they have also been used to describe liminality, new spaces, independence and authenticity. From the New Woman to Jane Eyre and the female characters in Dracula, monsters have consistently accompanied times of liberation and social change.

“We distrust and loathe the monster at the same time we envy its freedom” - monstrosity as we have come to understand it is not fixed. It’s there for people to see their own complexities and nuances reflected and it’s also an idea and a name rather than a state of being.

These Fabulous Creatures will invite you into a space free from any expectations, and ask that you simply bring with you curiosity and trust!

Written by Jessica Weaver

Research Assistant

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