eleanor bartleman

 porcelain figures, treasure-boxes and wall pieces

reynard the fox

I studied ceramics at Glasgow School of Art during which time my interest in history and mythology drew me to the beast epic – Reynard the Fox. This was to become the main theme for my work over the following years and up to the present day.

The Beast Epic utilised animals to play out human attributes and situations. To this extent it is not a story about animals at all, but a story about human nature.

The Reynard stories date back to Aesop but were very popular in Europe in the Middle Ages, when they were used to expose hypocrisy in the Church and Crown. The stories are bawdy, rumbustuous and cruel – and also rather funny. Reynard the Fox is the anti hero who wins through every time with his ruthless cunning, using his rivals’ weaknesses (greed, jealousy, self righteousness) to destroy them.

When I use animal forms in my work, they really represent human characters and emotions.