ELINA BRY: BECOMING RED
French Street Gallery 02.09.22 - 04.09.22
"The journey of a strawberry
Strawberries feel forever they say, what it’s like to be one today? It’s not easy being Red they say.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a strawberry. I think I’ve succeeded.
Engaging with my own queerness in a body which is other, embracing the odd, the uncanny and the feeling of becoming other. The act of becoming Betty the Strawberry is the act of understanding my own queerness, understanding the issues Betty faces and what others see in them. It’s not easy being red, living life the colour of blood, it’s not easy being red it seems you don’t blend in with other ordinary things." Elina Bry
Cabbage launches their month-long takeover at French Street Gallery on Friday 2nd September with Becoming Red, by artist Elina Bry - as Betty the Strawberry. Bry is a French-Finnish, Glasgow based multi-disciplinary artist. She works across video, storytelling and live performance, and is interested in listening to and re-staging the malfunctions of the human body. She is curious about the body as a sentient arena; as a responsive tool and as a protagonist of an everyday drama.
This exhibition explores Bry’s ongoing existence as her alter ego Betty the Strawberry, the childhood experiences and supermarket mascot that helped form Betty, and how these channel through Betty to depict Bry’s relationship with her own queerness and the body.
As Betty, Bry explores how the tension between your physical and mental self is pulled farther apart when either experiences sickness or a change of state. Betty provides a vessel for exploring the body as a physical manifestation of being othered - by external sources for living as a queer body and resisting societal norms, as well as internally; othered by your own body and how you perceive yourself within it. Exhibited all together for the first time in Bry's first solo exhibition in the UK, Becoming Red presents an autobiographical archive of Betty the Strawberry, depicted through moving image, print, painting, and performance.
This exhibition is the conclusion to a six month period of research and development by Bry, supported by Cabbage through it's Resilience Programme. In addition to funding, the programme offers tailored support to its artists from Cabbage's artist led team. This year, this included Critical Friend sessions with Liv Fontaine and Nina Mdwaba, a Captioning Workshop from Sean Patrick Campbell, and exhibition making support from Jenny Tipton and James Jimbo. More information on the Resilience Programme can be found here.
The exhibition is open 10am - 5pm Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th September. The venue is wheelchair accessible and is a five minute walk from Dalmarnock train station.
With thanks to Strangefield and Creative Scotland for their support. Elina would like to thank those behind the camera; Alexis <3, Wojtek, Nastia, James, and Saturn for the interview recording x