FMP-Caitlin Hackett



I really love this picture by Caitlin Hackett, the whole atmosphere is that of a dark and twisted fairytale with it’s many waving lines of the creatures fur and the dark purple tinged colours. Her lines are quite warm in this picture, giving the creature a more alive quality than if it were dead.

Using ballpoint pen, ink, watercolours and pencil on paper she knowingly explores the relationship between humans and animals and the outcome is a world of miscellaneous creatures that drift between the possible and impossible, beautiful and frightening.  (

The chimera like creatures she creates are strange and yet do not seem out of place if they were from an established myth or fairytale. Her work is quite large and allows her to develop a piece as she goes along, in which she can “bond” with the piece. Her drawings have quite a surreal quality with their merging of human and animal traits. the eyes of the cat creature seem to stare out at whoever is looking at it.

As an artist she has managed to create a world where nature, animals and humans intertwine in a colourful yet curiously surreal way. Her creatures possess wings and fins as well as hands and beaks. In their billowing hair hide long-tailed rats and any gaping wound can easily be closed up with a zipper. (

The cat’s eyes are soulful, but perhaps this is one of her less human pieces, the mushrooms growing on the cat creatures back are strange and give the create a very natural feral quality. It’s two heads look in different directions and it’s back is raised as if it’s ready to run or defend itself from whatever tries to harm it. It seems a very skittish and non threatening creature.

I don’t think of them as Frankenstein type monsters, chopped up and sewn together, but rather as natural amalgamations, creatures born out of the swamp of an invaded world; they are animals at the edge of humanity’s grasp, where the natural world and the human world have intertwined and mutated together.(

Many of the creatures we see in myth are like this, mixture of human and creature, humans seem to have had a long lasting morbid fascination with the natural world and our own intertwining to create these strange and surreal creatures. In my own research I’ve seen how the human imagination can create these strange creatures and how their human qualities are usually a type of lure to attract humans into the creatures grasp, however Caitlin Hackett’s work  it seems gives the impression of the human viewer trespassing on the world of these strange creatures and simply observing it.


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