Queen of Spoons, 2015, depicts a woman in a wild leopard skin basque or dress with a wig of lilac hair and a collar or “necklace” of spoons. A joke, perhaps, about her magnetism. A party trick. A reference to Dadaist cabarets with their imaginative costumes improvised from everyday objects. A witty inversion of the coronation spoon – an object rarely used for eating or even stirring but reserved (there’s that word again) for anointing a monarch. Here the spoon is not stored away with the “best” cutlery or other ceremonial paraphernalia; it is displayed without reserve, in multiple amid its lesser companions. Quantity over quality. The notion of being ‘born with a silver spoon’ - an allusion to upper class privilege which has seemed to function in English society as an excuse for (men’s) bad behaviour - might also be one that Halls, with her working-class roots, is keen to subvert.
Marie-Anne Mancio - Catalogue Essay - No Reserve