IT MUST be fair to say that the paintings and prints that make up Marcelle Hanselaar's second solo show in St Ives' Millennium Gallery – Open Secrets – are not for the squeamish.
One who pulls no punches, takes no prisoners, talking about the six large prints in her series Loss Of Innocence, she said: "Although I often work in series I never set out to do so. One drawing seems to lead to another until the subject matter has been assuaged. These etchings are my response to the populaces uprising against the stranglehold of the old power structures in the Arab Spring and the severe effect of civil war on ordinary people ... whether these struggles are between men and women or the old and the new, the inevitability to lose our innocence is a very emphatic one.".
She has won numerous awards, and her work now forms part of various collections, among them that of the British Musem Prints & Drawings Collection, the V&A Prints & Drawings, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Sakimi Art Museum, Japan, and the Guandong Fine Art Museum, China.
While her pictures of "crowds" in action, what she calls "The Theatre of the Absurd", are fearless and frightening, curiously enough, those of single figures in her series White Collar Black Man are even more telling.
She said: "I made these works in response to the colonialist view that a coloured man was not a person until he was moulded in dress, behaviour and thinking, to resemble a white man."
From Fighter to Child Soldier, like everything in this show, they are as powerful as they are thought-provoking, and they can be seen, admission free, in the Millennium Gallery, Street-an-Pol, St Ives, from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, until May 20.