Fairytales and folklore express deep experiences and challenges that we all face. Human psychology is embedded into the stories. These stories live in our subconscious and morph into what the listener needs at particular moments in their lives. With this in mind, I set out to discover how these fairytales inhabit my needs and play in my subconscious as I orchestrate pieces of art. I enjoy making fairytales and folklore my own by reworking them, adding to the story or creating a different outcome or mood for a particular story whether my interpretation is sexual, gruesome or just too real.
I have used fairytales in concept as well as composition. Since I started working with fairytales, I have been especially drawn to the figure of the damsel in distress or in other words the innocent persecuted heroine. I am drawn to her figure. She is alluring in her helplessness and captivating even in her own distress. She is fundamentally helpless and has to be liberated by someone else. In many moments of my life, I have felt that I have been placed in that role. A role that I abhor. One that I fight against while seeking to become the heroine.
Even though I don’t make self-portraits, I find that the female figures I paint frequently become expressions of myself. The women in my paintings are often caught up in a fairytale narrative. They are disillusioned to think that they can be heroines when in reality they must carry the psychological weight of being damsels in distress.
Headdresses, like fairytales, have a long history. They have been used as symbols of power and to hide weaponry. They are also used in ceremonies like rites of passage. I am drawn to their beauty as well as the metaphor of psychological weight. Many headdresses I create myself. I enjoy the play with different sizes and shapes. There is also a sense of innocence in how the female figure wears the headdress. She is caught up in her own beauty and her inevitable helplessness whether she knows it or not.