Fairy tales provide the foundation of our childhood, they teach us who is right and who is wrong, and that good always wins out over evil. Fairy tales provide a window to the deepest, darkest parts of our conscious and allow us to see the kind of person we really are. Hopefully they reflect in us the best qualities, the faces we are proud to wear in the light of day like princesses and knights; however, sometimes the reflections they show are twisted, distorted into the guise of witches or beasts. How can something so seemingly insignificant as a fairy tale reveal so much about us as people? Some have argued that within us all is the capacity to play every role in the fairy tale; both the prince and the beast, the princess and the witch.
This idea that fairy tales are plays of morality in which we can take any role is something that has fascinated me for years. Is it possible for a girl to be both a princess and a witch? Or can she be only one or the other? Can a boy only be a knight, rescuing a damsel? Can he not be rescued instead? Ideas of gender roles, societal expectations, and the conveyance of titles such as sacred and profane are all ingrained in fairy tales. How we assimilate or reject those ideals plays a huge part in the person we become. But what if the ideals that we experience in those fairy tales are not the positive ideals that contemporary society expects of us? In my work, I explored emotions generally ignored within the fairytales told to us as children: desperation, indifference, psychosis, obliviousness, conceit.
The fairy tales of today reflect so much more than just moral truisms. We are confronted with very real issues and no easy answers. Who can we turn to when we’re supposed to rescue ourselves? How can we keep kissing frogs to find a prince when kissing holds no magic anymore? What if we are not destined to be the princess at all, but the witch doomed to die alone?