Haley Craw is a multidisciplinary artist based in Calgary, Canada. Her work presents relics, bodily traces, and the mythology of the Fallen Woman to explore female sexuality and ideology through both a social context and reflection of personal experience. Her work was included in the Feminist Art Conference 2015, FemmeWave, and TRUCK Contemporary Calgary, along with curating the exhibition Shape-Shifters at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Her work has been featured in Filling Station Magazine, Venison Magazine, and Nailed Magazine.
The body is a site of struggle. My work negotiates this struggle at the intersection between the personal, the social, and the animal. The self-portrait claims my relationship to self, the social mediates and performs ideological experience, and the animal conveys carnal desires and primal fears. Religious ideology values the pure body, specifically the purity of the feminine. Purity is that which is free from contamination, a pure woman is free from her humanity. My work engages with seeping materials to display the feminine body as one that is wet and open instead of dry and closed, empowering sexuality through the act of displaying that which is deemed shameful unapologetically. The Monstrous Feminine rises through seepage, and the Fallen Woman is Her identity. I reframe this female figure that has taken authorship for sin by creating a mythology for her, empowering the defiance of suppression of sexuality and resisting insidious shame from ideological roots.
The succubus is a seductive snake, a cunning temptation, a repressed desire. The wolf is a night hag, lurking and stalking in the woods, the embodied unknown. The deviant transforms and pushes back on power; scales and hair emerge from under the skin, destabilizing absolutism. My work engages with the transformative potential of the body and the instability of myth, positioned somewhere between what something appears to be and what it really is. Unstable mythology is depicted through drawings of fragmented or shape-shifting bodies, as well as the sculptural relics of an absent figure of reverence. A decentred perspective breeds doubt, and a seed of doubt is the strongest resistance to forms of absolute authority.