Commissioned by Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery 2001

The installation ‘Magic Murder and the Weather’ was made for Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery in 2001 and has subsequently toured to several venues in the UK. It’s concerned with the portrayal and interpretation of three folk tales; ‘Ashputtel’, ‘Bluebeard’, and ‘What Came of Picking Jessamine’. Three sets of nine images are presented as backlit photographic colour transparencies. Within each of these transparencies are smaller transparent photographic inset images and this layering of image aids the intention of an implied narrative unfolding on a stage.

The three tales from which the work is drawn all highlight entrapment, fear and horror resulting from the encroachment of outside agents on familial security. The original folk-tales have a wonderfully rich visual imagery and are filled with symbols, warnings and instructions. Devised as a guide to the complexities of life; through their telling and re telling grows the ability to recognize an archetype, understand the ways of love, honesty and deceit, death and change. In this darker dream realm of displaced spirits, souls can be taken out of the body for safekeeping, and placed in side an animal, in turn placed in a box at the bottom of the sea and finally inside an egg. The perennial significance of such tales is their ability to transcend a particular time and place and they relate to unchanging and inescapable truths about human nature and experience.

These elements and their psychological interpretations have been chosen as a starting point for the work. The images become as much about the artist as the folk tale, and this symbiotic relationship is reflected in the way one photographic image rests within another. The objects that she chooses take on an iconoclastic feel. Through Holland’s process of ordering, arranging and lighting, sets of objects and people are imbued with a personal, contemporary symbolism, which takes them one stage away from the ordinary world.

There is a publication to accompany this exhibition
Tracey Holland ‘Magic, Murder and the Weather’
published by Twelve keys press ISBN 0-954-1996-0-X

Publication essay by Stephanie brown
Introduction by Nell Farrell
Show Reviews

images of Magic Murder & the Weather Installation 2001


Ashputtel  Read the story

Bluebeard Read the story 

What Came of Picking Jessamine Read the story