Artist Sara Le Roy is a fascinating woman. The London-based Dutch artist has made a name for herself in subverting images traditionally seen as sugar and spice, like fairytales, Disney characters, and pretty girls, and flipping them into the dark side. As such, her works mingle iconography of innocence with that of death and the macabre: Alice’s wonderland is suddenly a dystopian hell.
In recent years Le Roy has also taken to making her works even more haunting by rendering them as 3D images, creating oil paintings that come to life when the viewer dons 3D glasses. A number of these works are currently on show at the Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery in east London in an exhibition entitled The Disenchanted Forest, showcasing the artist’s simultaneous explorations of childhood stories and the more adult recesses of the human mind.
Many of the women that take on the roles of characters like Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland are Le Roy’s friends, some dating back to her days living in a squatted part of the old Chelsea Art School building. And while they’re dark – disturbing, even – there’s a large dose of humour in Le Roy’s work, especially in their titles. Among our favourites are the Little Mermaid parody, entitled Whoring Ariel, and Red Riding Hood who didn't make it to grandma’s, an image that conjures up a fairytale heroine who has long ceased to give a fuck.