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Marianna Simnett, Faint with Light, 2016. Installation view at FACT 2019. Photo: Rob Battersby.

Ericka Beckman & Marianna Simnett

What can we learn about modern day society from traditional fairy tales?

Part of the Spring 2019 season

Opening in March, our new exhibition features two artists who both use technology and classic tropes of fairy tale storytelling to create artworks that are alluring and repelling, sensual and troubling.

Eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and London based artist Marianna Simnett - whose work reaches across more than forty years - present strikingly different forms of visual storytelling, but share a playful approach to the body within the multi-layered fantasy worlds they create.

"an empowering show about myth and misogyny"

The Guardian ★ ★ ★ ★

Ericka Beckman uses the imagery, style and language of early computer games - as well as the rigid structures and rules of gaming - to examine the perceived need for women to adhere to societal norms in order to achieve what is expected of them. The characters depicted in her films are seen never fully succeeding in satisfying the requirements of the “game” they’re in, providing a critique of the limitations and demands placed on women in society. Both films rewrite fairy tales using the innovative technology of the 80’s to explore female identities in our post-industrial world.

Marianna Simnett’s visceral language combines mythology and surgery to create tales of morality. Themes of corruption and innocence depict illness and disease, commenting on gender divides in our cultures. Through video and installation, Simnett challenges how bodies are perceived and imagined against a repressive society of control.

"Undeniably memorable"


This exhibition is adapted from the Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett exhibitions curated by Zabludowicz Collection.

Hiatus, 1999

Dual-screen installation; 16mm transferred to HD video with sound (22:00 minutes, looped); synchronised LED track

Proto type live half term camp learning young people

Do Something Saturdays

Every Saturday

Drop in on Saturdays and tell us what princesses and princes are like in 2019.

Mariana Simnett Blood

Reading & Discussion Groups

From fairy tales to gender politics, join us for a reading group of texts by seminal female writers followed by a discussion.

Cinderella 27B

Curator Tour

Join us for a curator tour and learn more about Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett.

Udder Graded 20180306  00 13 06 22 Still101

Wicked Women: Reimagining Gender and Fairytale

Wicked Women explores the gender narratives that are shaped through fairytale and mythology, and the female archetypes that are woven into our histories and contemporary society. This symposium will be followed by a screening of Marianna Simnett films.



Join us, Writing on the Wall and LCR Pride Foundation for a screening of Lizzie.

Red Riding Hood Landscape

Fairy Tale Liberation Club

Join us for a fairy tale-inspired storytime where two stories, rewritten by women from the Merseyside Women’s Liberation Movement in 1972, will be acted out and read aloud.


Once and Future Tales

Join us for a conversation and reading group with the women who rewrote the fairy tales for the future.

Fact Lightnight 51 High Res


Join us for a spectacular LightNight as we explore the fairy tales and the rituals in our everyday lives.

Marianna Simnett, The Udder (video still), 2014. Image courtesy the artist and Jerwood/FVU Awards.

Curator Tour

Join us for a curator tour and learn more about Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett.

Protolive To Use Learning Young People

Proto-Live Half Term Camp (11 - 15 year olds)


Create your own Machinima (a real-time computer graphics engine used to create a cinematic production) videos with footage captured from the video games you play in our latest Proto-Live Half Term Camp.

Marianna Simnett Faint with Light at ZC

Curator Tour

Join us for a curator tour and learn more about Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett.

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