Frances Hegarty - Storyboard - 2004
x6 pairs of laminated Lightjet digital prints on custom stands
Each print 1210mm[h] x 1600mm[w]
Comic strip fragments and 'Valda' character copyright © DC Thomson & Co. Ltd., originally drawn by D. Wynne. Used with permission.
In Storyboard, Hegarty uses the comic-book art of 1960s popular culture with landscape photography, promoting a female-centred fantasy over notions of the sublime commonly associated with landscape in art.
'Valda' first appeared in the D C Thomson comic Mandy in 1968. The character seems to be a reworking of Ryder Haggard's ageless woman, sustained by a supernatural "fire of life". The preoccupations of this story, and its reworking for girls of Hegarty's generation, resonate with other works by the artist concerned with female cultural agency, ageing and mortality.
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The title Storyboard refers both to the craft of the comic artist, and the creation of a fantastic personal history in the form of a movie storyboard. Adopting Valda as an alter-ego, Hegarty overlays fragments from the comic strip onto greatly enlarged, standard-resolution digital photographs taken close to her birthplace in Co. Donegal, Ireland. Hegarty isolates iconic scenes from one Valda story, making explicit the fantasy of a female empowerment barely troubled by the complexities of modern sexual politics.