Every Mother Needs a Girl

First Solo Exhibition in Zadik Gallery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, 2012
‏Paula Elion exposes the complex relationships between mothers and their daughters in a painting exhibition with the story of Little-Red-Riding-Hood lurking in the background.
‏”Every-Mother-Needs-A-Girl” is a pervasive saying by mothers of sons yearning for a daughter to fulfill the prevalent promise of female family sisterhood. Paula Elion is the young promised daughter in a son ridden family. In this exhibition, Elion confronts the chores, expectations, hopes and disappointments that come with the destined role.
‏Elion commenced her escape from her destiny at the age of twenty when she emigrated from Argentina alone. Later, she abandons her calling as an English teacher for Art studies, marries her Israeli partner, gives birth to her children and finally, in this exhibition, confronts the image of the rebel daughter refusing to live up to her expectations.
‏Elion draws lean drawings based on childhood pictures. The emerging image of a daughter is shocking, humoristic and paradoxical. On the one hand she is in the center of the frame wearing a red-hot bikini, sometimes with no upper part, on the other hand she always wears a mask and sunglasses or grimaces to make herself uglier. Elion’s childhood paintings lack nostalgia or longing to the scenery, homeland and family. The daughter becomes a symbol for a disappointing anticipation.
‏Contrary to Mary-Cassatt’s paintings depicting warm, mutual, idyllic mother-daughter relationships, Elion exposes the complexity of these relationships consciously appropriating thematic and formal ingredients from the story of Little-Red-Riding-Hood. The mother, basket, woods, wolf and red-hood are easily identifiable as well as their implications: a mother sends her daughter to the danger-zone requesting her to behave properly. The fickle duality between the action on the one hand and the narrative on the other leaves the daughter no choice but to disobey the mother and be portrayed almost as a wild defying son.

Curator: Hana Coman

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