Artist who did PhD on werewolves has one-woman display, Enter the Lair, at Benalla Art Gallery this summer

Twisted tale: Gallery director Bryony Nainby with Jazmina Cininas' linocuts reflecting on Little Red Riding Hood. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
Twisted tale: Gallery director Bryony Nainby with Jazmina Cininas' linocuts reflecting on Little Red Riding Hood. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

A NEW art exhibition is giving you the opportunity to wear a werewolf mask to feel empathy for the hairy figures of forklore.

Enter the Lair features linocuts by Jazmina Cininas who has centred her artistic career on depicting the female werewolf.

“I became aware the way wolves had been imagined and women had been imagined were similar and there were a lot of parallels,” Cininas said.

“The wolf, like women, was feared but revered.”

Cininas cited the example of Romulus and Remus who were suckled by a she-wolf, in contrast to the feared eco-wolf female warrior. 

The exhibition at Benalla Art Gallery encompasses works done by Cininas for her PhD entitled The Girlie Werewolf Hall of Fame.

Lupine lover: Jazmina Cininas with one of the werewolf art works.

Lupine lover: Jazmina Cininas with one of the werewolf art works.

A portrait of a Mexican girl, whose family has been declared the world’s hairest, a recast Little Red Riding Hood image and the story of an Estonian woman tried for being a werewolf in 1623 are aspects of the show.

Cardboard masks are also being offered with Cininas keen for attendees to don them.

“Hopefully they’ll identify a little bit more with the stories or be a bit more sympathetic in their understanding,” Cininas said.

“(It can become) less of a Hollywood cliche.

“I would like to think (they’re) a kind of metaphor for otherness, anyone that exists outside what the dominant society believe, that say this is the norm, this is how you should behave.”

Cininas recently had a three-month residence in Estonia, which she described as the world capital for female werewolves.

She has also indulged her passion through visits to forests in France, Romania and Latvia, where there are werewolf pine trees.

Enter the Lair will be officially opened this Thursday night with Cininas travelling from her Melbourne home for the launch.

Canine capers: Two of the dogs on human heads which feature in Rona Green's exhibition Champagne Taste and Lemonade Pockets.

Canine capers: Two of the dogs on human heads which feature in Rona Green's exhibition Champagne Taste and Lemonade Pockets.

A sister exhibition Champagne Taste and Lemonade Pockets depicting images of animal heads on human bodies will be opened at the same time.

It features the work of Bendigo artist Rona Green.

Art gallery director Bryony Nainby described the exhibitions, which opened last Saturday, as “our summer family interactive” displays. 

Enter the Lair runs until January 28, while Champagne Taste and Lemonade Pockets will finish on March 4.