Berkshire Kitsune

The Japanese kitsune, a mythical fox, can be seen as a parallel to the Salem witch, a woman who has the boldness to walk alone at night, possesses the same supernatural air about her. Robert Eggers, director of the movie, The Witch, explains that people of that time sincerely believed that any woman that showed any sign of agency really did have supernatural powers. It was not just a conspiracy theory to cause suspicion and be rid of her. The difference with my fox piece is that she is not a whole animal as in my other works. She is a mounted bust on a wall. Not allowed to be whole, the first part of her title, Berkshire, comes from Cockney rhyming slang. The term “Berkshire Hunt,” as in a fox hunt, is slang for “cunt.” Therefore, Berkshire Kitsune speaks about the frustrations at not being able to extend or unfurl oneself in the space provided, or in a woman’s case, granted to her without consequence.

Berkshire Kitsune possesses a face mimicking the Roman god, Janus, which looks to both the past and present simultaneously. In the same way that DuChamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 visually evokes a sense of motion, the fox’s Janus face suggests the subject’s reaction to the tipping point of repression felt when a person can not embody who she is. My approach to multiples comes from the saying, “Fake it till you make it.” Behavioral psychologist and licensed mental health counselor, Dr. Susan Hambleton explains that cognitively, when one is “faking it," one is actually rewiring brain, creating new pathways, lighting up synapses.

Artwork Info

Type of Work sculpture
Medium plaster, plastic taxidermy eyes, noses, and mouths, and oil paint on top of a foam taxidermy base
Dimensions 18" x 13" x 8"
Subject Matter animal figure (fox)

Artist Info

Lesley Silvia

Graduate Student
Joined: October 21, 2013

Rights: All Rights Reserved

Appears In 1 Album

36 items

Lesley Silvia LRVS MFA Thesis 2016