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Sculptor of naked dwarfs unhappy

Published: 8:45PM Saturday November 22, 2008 Source: ONE News

A Dunedin artist whose naked sculptures of the seven dwarves have been kept out of an exhibition at the public art gallery says she's a victim of censorship.

Walt Disney made them famous, but now Snow White's companions have lost their innocence and marched their way into controversy.

"They're not supposed to be realistic. They're cartoon characters with appendages," says Michele Beevors, the artist.

Beevors' lineup is doing stuff that just might shock other woodland creatures.

"They're doing some rude things. There's some masturbation going on and there's sodomy. But you can't tell," says Beevors.

They were meant to be part of an exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery titled Debbie Does Disney. But the dwarfs got the heave ho.

"The gallery thinks that they're inappropriate. Little old ladies and children may object," says Beevors.

But the gallery says there simply isn't room for all Beevors' work so they picked the best and deny there's any censorship.

No no. It's simply we wanted to produce a show which we thought celebrated the strong aspects of Michele's work," says Aaron Krieslor of the gallery.

But Beevors isn't celebrating. She's protesting, saying galleries should challenge the public rather than just entertain.

I don't think the ruder works have been excluded. There are a lot of works that I think people will be challenged by, says Krieslor.

In fact, theres six years work involved, with the gallery adamant staff decided on artistic merit alone.

But thats left the seven dwarfs out in the cold, left to work on their own fairytale ending.

The dwarfs are funny. They're not supposed to be a serious take on male sexuality or anything like that, says Beevors.