Women Who Run with the Wolves

Following Government advice about coronavirus (Covid-19), the Henry Moore Institute is currently closed until further notice.

We will attempt to reschedule disrupted events where this is possible. Find out more.


To coincide with the exhibition Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body, Dr Catriona McAra (University Curator, Leeds Arts University) will lead this afternoon research forum exploring feminism in contemporary art.

Specifically, the discussion will be themed around Clarissa Pinkola Estés's renowned cult classic and revisionary feminist study, Women Who Run with the Wolves (1992).

Talks will cover psychoanalysis, metamorphosis, embodied storytelling and other fairy tales. Speakers are artists, choreographers, curators and literary scholars practicing both internationally and locally, offering a range of viewpoints and vibrant, new interdisciplinary approaches to the telling of narrative sculpture.


 Introduction: The Fur of the Fairy Tale: Dorothea Tanning and Samantha Sweeting
Dr Catriona McAra (Curator, Leeds Arts University)
 Clothed (in) Animals: Contemporary Women Artists Reimagining Fairy-Tale Creatures
Dr Mayako Murai (Writer, Kanagawa University)
 Beneath the Surface, A Vibration Through the Bones
Rachel Goodyear (Artist, Manchester)
 The Shapeshifting Woman and Other Tales of Becoming
Hannah Buckley (Choreographer, Leeds)
 Roundtable discussion


About the speakers

Catriona McAra

Dr Catriona McAra is University Curator at Leeds Arts University. She has published extensively on the art and literature of Dorothea Tanning and Leonora Carrington with a particular interest in feminist aesthetics and surrealist legacies in contemporary practice.

Mayako Murai

Dr Mayako Murai looks at fairy-tale animals in works by contemporary women artists from different cultures, and how these works pose a challenge to our perceptions of animals and human-animal relations. She contends that the fairy tale – a genre of narrative that has long told stories about animals as main characters, about human-animal interactions, and about interspecific transformations – can offer a useful framework to re-examine our perceptions of animals and to renegotiate our relationships with them.

In this talk, she reflects on the materiality of animal skins used in installation works, especially those by contemporary Japanese artist Tomoko Konoike, and consider how these works cast a new light on the themes of desire, difference, and empathy raised in traditional fairy tales about women clothed in animal skins. She examines the motif of clothes made of animal skins that are worn by heroines desperate to escape from their fathers’ incestuous advances; “Thousandfurs”, “The Donkeyskin” and “Catskin” are among the best-known examples of this tale type in Europe. She also discusses how contemporary artworks using animal skins evoke this motif in such a way that the materiality of animal skins 'speaks' to us on its own terms, inviting us to revisit familiar stories from a more creaturely perspective and to imagine a new form of society founded on differences.

Dr Mayako Murai is a professor at Kanagawa University, Japan. She is the author of From Dog Bridegroom to Wolf Girl: Contemporary Japanese Fairy-Tale Adaptations in Conversation with the West (Wayne State University Press, 2015) and co-editor of Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures (Wayne State University Press, 2020). She curated the exhibition Tomoko Konoike: Fur Story at the Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University in 2018. She is currently writing a book tentatively titled Re-Storying the World for Multispecies Survival: Fairy-Tale Animals in Contemporary Art and Picturebook Illustrations.

Rachel Goodyear

Within her presentation, ‘Beneath the Surface, a vibration through the bones’ Rachel Goodyear explores a dialogue between Women who Run with the Wolves and the relevance and influence this has within her own art practice. She draws particular reference to the moment when La Loba begins to sing and imagines a vibration, an awakening, a significant moment before flesh and fur begin to grow. The ‘Wild Woman’ in Goodyear’s current work is poised at that very moment – a point of contemplation, a state before emergence. Goodyear has a particular interest in the ‘veil’ between the conscious and the subconscious and within this presentation she will discuss metaphors for longing and the human psyche found within folklore and mythology and their connections with her own visual language.

Rachel Goodyear lives and works in Manchester. Select solo exhibitions include Catching Sight, The New Art Gallery Walsall; Restless Guests, The Drawing Center, New York; Approaching the Surface, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London; and Modifications of the Host, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Select group exhibitions include The Freud Museum, London; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Weserburg; Folkwang Museum, Essen; Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden; Innsbruck Biennial, Austria; The Curitiba Biennial, Brazil; and Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool. Works held in international collections include Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Olbricht Collection, Essen; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; The New Art Gallery Walsall; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and Robert Devereux Collection. She is represented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London.

Hannah Buckley

Hannah Buckley is a dancer and choreographer who's practice is research driven, often with long processes. She is interested in, gender, intergenerational exchange, and personal relationships as material for art, nature and fairytales. Buckley's work has been supported by organisations such as Arts Council England, Yorkshire Dance, Dance4, The Place. In 2019 she was awarded the Leeds Dance Partnership Fellowship at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has worked nationally and internationally as part of festivals such as Manchester International Festival, the Venice Biennale and Transform Festival, Leeds International Festival and Gender Bender. 


Due to our current closure, all of our events are postponed until further notice. We will attempt to reschedule whenever it is possible to do so. Thank you for your understanding.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Following Government advice about coronavirus (Covid-19), the Henry Moore Institute is currently closed until further notice.

Find out more.