Laura Jean Healey: The Unholy Trinity

Laura Jean Healey: The Unholy Trinity

For International Women’s Day 2020 Laura Jean Healey is producing an ambitious new installation piece, The (Un)Holy Trinity, which explores the notion of the ‘fallen woman’. She is currently seeking crowdfunding support to fully realise the project: support the work here, read on to learn more about it, and scroll to the end of this article to watch Healey’s video introduction to the work. 

The piece is inspired by Pre-Raphaelite painting, referencing works such as John Collier’s Lilith and Franz Stuck’s The Sin. As with Healey’s award-winning previous work The Siren, The (Un)Holy Trinity explores mythical female figures, in particular how representations of the mythical female have contributed to entrenched perceptions of femininity. In this new work, the artist focuses on Biblical tales of fallen women - Lilith, Salome and Eve. She explores the stories of defiant female figures who have striven for independence and power only to be vilified for their ‘unwomanly’ ways. By extension the project draws attention to still-ingrained perceptions of powerful women as shameful or demonic - views which disallow and deny female strength and sexuality. 

Salome, Lilith and Eve will be played by actresses in a series of films shot at 500fps (the camera of choice is a Phantom Flex 4K). The intention of the works is to give the impression of paintings coming to life. High speed recordings will be slowed down to create ethereal, cinematic moving images. In a recent interview with Elephant Magazine, Healey describes the aesthetic of the works in detail:

The films will have a highly-stylized, cinematic look. The protagonists will be surrounded by rich foliage to create the feel of a painting—reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist art movements. I will use film noir lighting to create not only a sense of depth, but to contrast this darkness against the beauty of the image and invoke an uncanny sense of the foliage emerging from the shadows. The use of a long lens and a shallow depth of field will heighten the dream-like quality of the films, which will contrast jarringly with the innate violence of each of the women’s actions.

In Healey’s interview with Elephant she also describes some of the problems she has faced when making work featuring the female nude. Her recent award-winning work The Siren, which depicts a naked woman underwater, was banned from Facebook and later reinstated, a sequence of events that highlights the continued hypocrisy and sense of ownership connected to portraying the female body. 

Concept art for Lilith - part of The (Un)Holy Trinity

The (Un)Holy Trinity will feature three recorded performances presented as a large scale multi-channel digital installation. On 7 March 2020 the work will launch in parallel with International Women’s Day, the annual international celebration of the rights and power of women. As well as being displayed as an installation in central London, the project will also launch on Sedition as a collection of digital editions.  Having found 35% of her budget Healey has launched a crowdfunding campaign to secure the rest - sponsor rewards include a visit to the film set, attendance of the private view of the London exhibition, owning a signed copy of the concept art, a digital copy of the films and being credited as a project producer in promotional materials. 

To find out how you can support The (Un)Holy Trinity project visit the Greenlit page.

The (Un)Holy Trinity from Greenlit on Vimeo.

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Laura Jean Healey
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