A new art exhibition celebrating magical women has opened at The Larder in Preston city centre.
Becky Atherton’s paintings depict beautiful, strong women inspired by Greek Goddesses, Hebrew and Middle Eastern mythologies, and German and Norse folklore.
The Lancashire-based artist is no stranger to The Larder, having held a popular art and creativity workshop at the café last year. We went to the exhibition opening to find out more.
Becky Atherton has been working as a community artist for the past 20 years. Four years ago, she began to concentrate on her own paintings, completing an MA in Fine Art at UCLan last year. She became fascinated by mythology as a child, absorbing the magical stories in her father’s books on mythologies and folklore.
“In my work, I look for female stories in mythology,” said Becky. “I want to raise and promote the storytelling of women.”
Becky’s paintings tell the story of different goddesses, such as the Norse goddess Freyja and Selene, the personification of the moon, who was worshipped at the new and full moons in Greek and Roman mythology. Each painting is accompanied by the story of each mythical character. Becky’s intent is to encourage people to explore stories that inspire alternative ways of thinking.
Becky’s exhibition was opened by Bernie Velvick, of The Brewtime Collective, an organisation that connects artists and creatives opening up opportunities for people to work together. Last year, Becky held a workshop at The Larder as part of The Brewtime Collective’s Collective Weekender, a two-week festival of art, music, photography, and dance, creating a fantastic Kraken headdress from recycled materials.
“A Kraken is a giant octopus-like creature that comes from Norse mythology,” said Becky. “According to sailor’s superstitions, it is said to be large enough to bring down ships.”
Becky continues to work within the community, she is currently running art workshops for community groups in Nelson and Colne and in a few weeks’ time the artist, along with Bernie Velvick, will be making decorations and a mural for the Queen’s Jubilee with groups that attend Farringdon Park Community Centre.
“I think art adds something extra to people’s lives,” said Becky. “Seeing art, music, drama and dance and people exploring their own creativity makes people’s lives more fulfilled.”
Bernie and Becky have worked together for twelve years as Artfull, a participatory and community arts unincorporated association, helping people write funding bids and deliver art projects across the northwest.
Following her exhibition at The Larder, Becky will be exhibiting at the Duke’s Theatre in Lancaster and the artist will also be painting a giant owl for Knowsley Borough Council’s Owl and the Pussycat Sculpture Trail.
Becky’s artwork and prints of the artist’s work may also be bought and ordered from The Larder. The exhibition runs at The Larder at 50 Lancaster Road until 15 May. The Larder is open 8.30am to 2.30pm from Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday.