Lady Sasquatch at the University of Lethbridge

Jane Edmundson unpacks some of the Lady Sasquatch exhibit opening at the U of L this week. photo by Richard AmeryThe University  of Lethbridge  art gallery (W600) is opening two major exhibits with a reception, Sept. 18.
The first exhibit, which runs Sept. 11-Oct. 23 features “Head Shots” from the University of Lethbridge Art collection.
 The other is a larger than life exhibition from Ontario artist Allyson Mitchell, who is bringing her exhibition “Lady Sasquatch” to the University of Lethbridge  gallery where it will run until Oct. 30.
“Lady Sasquatch”  features  an interesting take on the traditional male sasquatch. Mitchell, a well known feminist, has used a variety of taxidermy glass eyes, fun fur, found textiles and fake bear parts to create a series of 10 foot tall anatomically correct female sasquatches  as well as sasquatch “familiars” like squirrels and groundhogs.
They have been described as being influenced by a series of Playboy pictures from the 1970s, their fangs are bared and  using a reverse airbrush technique, they appear more “ real , authentic and  and attainable as beast-creatures than they were as human women.”
Some of them are placed in dioramas reflecting natural history and roadside attraction.
Mitchell uses parody to question commonly held values like women should not have body hair, and should have small, thin white bodies to appeal to heterosexual men. She parodies these types of images as they are found in magazines and centrefolds with her art.
Mitchell  has a Phd in women’s studies from York University and, since 1997, has been melding feminism with  pop culture to play with  contemporary ideas about sexuality, autobiography and the human body.
 She is also a writer, musician and performance artist.
 The Lady Sasquatch exhibit’s national tour hits the McMaster Museum of Art, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Peterborough as well as the University of Lethbridge.
The reception for the exhibits is  Sept.18, 4-6 p.m.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor