This year for the HIX Award competition, we have received some dazzling pieces. Thought provoking, eye-catching and brutally honest, Allyson McIntyre’s ‘Moon Cries for Ferdinand’ is deeply symbolic and expressive. The bull, the central focus of the image, is on show with dark, faceless figures watching from the sides of the ring, whilst the viewer becomes one of the spectators as well. A helpless chained creature, we are almost encouraged to feel sympathy for the bull, as it glitters superficially against a bright pink background. McIntyre is interested in exploring the role of women in art, and shuns traditional artistic feminine topics, opting for a direct style in order to give women in the shadows a clear voice. Here, I interpret the bull as an allegory of the position of women in a male dominated society- constantly evaluated, undervalued and objectified. The huge size of the canvas, the forcefulness of the bright colours and wide strokes of shamelessly confident paint means that the viewer cannot escape the piece, as the issue cannot be avoided in real life. Despite the fact the subject of the role of women is often discussed in art, literature and even the news, McIntyre approaches it in a completely uniquely way, in my view. She is clear, she does not whitewash or hide anything, and I believe her piece touches the lives of and is familiar to many women.
By Ami Koya