At last, I am done with my fairy tale and mythology narrative series project! It has been a fun, challenging, and excellent learning experience. Come view my prints near Photoland and the market area on the first floor of the Library (at the Evergreen State College of course)!
As a recap of my project, I’d like to share my artist statement and my final images:
I am inspired by the themes and narratives found in fairy tales and mythology. These stories capture my imagination. I am attracted to their fantastical characters and settings. My work involves only female characters, for I believe women have a strong presence in the narratives of fairy tales. Using the medium of photography, I strive to create images that portray the wonderment of the stories yet, because of the camera, still hold a pretense in reality. The photographs were created using either a digital, medium format, or view camera and printed digitally.
I am surprised fairy tales, amidst their beauty and enchantment, contain such macabre elements. These stories, which are often thought to be solely for children’s enjoyment, are filled with murders, witches, spirits, and death. Gretel’s Escape focuses on Gretel’s remorse and horror after circumstances force her to murder the witch by burning her alive. The Little Match Girl sees visions of her grandmother, the only person whom ever loved her, as she lights her matches to stay warm, before eventually freezing to death. Rapunzel is locked away, a victim of an evil witch, yet, in my interpretation, she is not submissive and still retains her dignity. Death’s Messenger is based on Grimm’s fairy tale of the same title. In the story, Death is personified as a person and sends intangible messengers to those he is about to overcome. I find the idea of Death personified to be captivating and a reoccurring theme throughout fairy tales and mythology.
In mythology, I am interested in nymphs and muses, for these female spirits are powerful entities connected to nature, the elements, and artistic creation. In Tree Nymph, The Muse, and Nympha Luminis (Latin, meaning “Nymph of Light”), I wanted to represent these spirits as strong individuals, as both part and separate from that which they are patrons.
In mythology, nymphs are closely connected to nature and the elements, much like the beings that we call “fairies”. This is the last installment in my fairy tale and mythology series. There is no particular story connected to the image. The idea has just been in my head for a while…a light nymph or “Nympha Luminis” (Latin, meaning Nymph of Light). It did not turn out the way I envisioned, largely because translating the images in my imagination into reality is really hard. There are so many factors involved in making a photograph like this. I used a 4×5 view camera, at night! So focusing with a flashlight was the only way to go. Secondly it was windy… causing motion blur, and determining that the model stand very still, which was made more difficult by the fact that it was freezing that night.
Overall though, I am happy with the way it turned out. I like the implied motion in the image because of the blur and the placement of the lanterns throughout the tree(s).