Carrington the rebel.
Carrington undoubtedly loved the spirit of revolt.
In London, she stayed in an exclusive hotel, with a friend. They took great pleasure in ‘ stirring up trouble’, by loudly discussing their own invented stories of syphilitic symptoms, making their way through groups of welldressed matrons assembled for afternoon tea.
Carrington met Max Ernst in Paris at the opening of his exhibition. Ernst immediatly left his wife and the two retreated to the Ardeche in southern France. Together they renovated a group of ruined buildings covering the walls with cement casts of birds and mythical animals. Carrington’s childhood was filled with mystery and fantasy creatures. This she brought to her paintings with a growing number of magical animals.
The image of the horse and the hyena were powerful personal images for Carrington and appeared repeatedly in a number of paintings and stories she wrote. An early story called “The debutante”,published in 1940 tells the story of a hyena in a zoo who befriends an unhappy young woman seeking to run away from a ball her mother has planned in her honor. The hyena masquerades in the debutantes ballgown. Upstairs the young woman reads Gullivers Travels to pass the time and escape. At the end ,the hyena , who offended by complaints about its strong odor, tales off it’s face and proceeds to eat it in full view of the company before vanishing through the window .
Carringtons’ first short story was published in 1937 . ” The House of Fear”,introduced the horse as a psychic guide, a friendly guide who conducts the heroine into a a world of mysterious ceremonies and rituals of transformation preceded over by the figure of Fear herself.
Soon after the nazi invasion of France, Ernst was arrested by the Gestapo, his art was considered ‘degenerate’ . He escaped to the US with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, leaving Carrington behind. She was devastated and fled to Spain where she had a major breakdown and was hospitalised Thee years later Carrington wrote about her psychic experience in a novel “Down Below “. She later moved to Mexico where she became deeply involved in the Womens liberation movement .
Leonora Carrington died in 2011 in Mexico City, aged 94, . The last of the great Surrealists.