Double entendre

Last week the Duchess popped along to the Valley to feast our eyes on the saucy exhibition ‘Double Entendre,’ a collaboration between Sunny Coast artists Evangeline Cachinero, Anita Pettinato and Tiffany Atkin. What a party! There were even spankings awarded, figuratively and physically.

Tiffany’s prints and paintings were Japanese-inspired and dainty and sweet, though alluding to darker things. Teapots and nerd-love abounded. A stand-out was a bright yet pastel number, perfectly square, of a sugar-sweet lady trying to look edgy in her Ray Bans and skull hairclip, arresting in its simplicity and gentle boldness. The skull clip, unexpectedly detailed, is conspicuously tough and complex.

Anita’s large-scale works featured bondage, pole-less pole-dancers and GHOSTBOY. And then we met Ghostboy’s drummer, who is a tiler by trade, and could whip up a mosaic feature wall. Amongst all the sexy portraits was a mysterious gas-masked man falling, anti-Icarus, out of the sun. This arrested J for some time, who no doubt conjectured a post-apocalyptic backstory for the man. Unlike the other paintings, which were bold reds and greens, this one was subdued faded yellows and greyish purples. The power in it was really in the inexplicable story locked away in it.

Evangeline’s paintings and digital art were more free, scribbly portraits—personalities oozed onto canvases in their eagerness to materialise. I had seen some of her work online, and liked it well enough, but in real life the layered texture really brings these images into their own. Jaunty chins and elongated necks and square nipples only emphasise the thoughtful expressions in the large eyes. My favourite was Justine, who looked to be splashing through a puddle, her long and poised frame haloed in red. The very hearts of others split through their chests, resting above bare breasts rather than pulsing behind them.

Each must have a story! Each has a different sparkle to her eye. I asked Evangeline if they were people she knew. She said they were inventions, but that she liked to give them names because they then became real to people. ‘Oh, I know Justine!’ people would say. ‘I have to have her. She is my painting.’ Instead of ‘painting-in-the-corner,’ Justine sparkled to life, like Pinocchio, a real girl.

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