Arts preview: Turiaga's 'Red' at Rehab

Jim Fischer
"Don't Talk To Strangers" by Anna Turiaga.

Aina Turiaga's exhibition "Red," which is on display at Rehab Tavern throughout October, examines the hidden, sometimes scary complexities in fairy tale stories.

Turiaga's path to making art had its own roots in childhood and the scary complexities often associated with growing up.

"I remember doing watercolor as a kid, but it wasn't really a big part of my life," she said. "As an adult, I always wanted to learn more about it, but I was always scared. 'What if I mess it up?'"

A few years ago, Turiaga, who was born in the Philippines and moved to Columbus with her family when she was 18, was brave enough to resume making art. For "Red," she features works inspired by some of her favorite children's stories, including "Little Red Riding Hood," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

"I had done some pieces before with Alice, and it turned out it was something I wanted to explore a little bit more," Turiaga said. "I've always been drawn to children's stories, and I wanted to have my own collection [about them]. There are hidden concepts behind some of these stories, and that's what I want to explore."

Turiaga examines the underlying complexities in these fairy tale stories, and how they can mean something different to you as an adult than they did as a child. Her piece "Don't Talk to Strangers," which features a large wolf's face with Red Riding Hood in the distance, is a prime example.

"Growing up, you're told by adults not to talk to strangers. I question now why [Red Riding Hood] was walking alone. That's one of the things that stuck with me as I was growing up, but that is something that I am reminded of now," Turiaga said.

She also examines different tellings of the "Red" story – one piece is inspired by the 2011 movie "Red Riding Hood."

"The girl's dad is the wolf in the film, and she has that blood in her, too," Turiaga said. "And in Charles Perrault's version, the French author of 'Little RedRiding Hood' from the 17th century, LittleRed was eaten too, and that was the end of it. So, it was a bit dark to begin with."

She admits her work might have been a little darker, too, but much of it was made this summer, when she thought more to "make something fun."

And maybe a little scary.

Rehab Tavern

7-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14

456 W. Town St., Franklinton