... and the Beast

The other day I was reading a chapter in Marina Warner's From the Beast to the Blonde where she talks about the differences between male and female fairytale characters being turned into animals. For the heroines the animal form is often a means of escape from a predicament.
"This phenomenon of metamorphosis as liberty saturates the imagery of the tales and the language in which they are conveyed; the animal disguise of the heroine equips her to enter a new territory of choice and speech; the apparent degradation works for her, not against her. Being a beast - a she-bear - can be preferable as a temporary measure to the constrictions of a woman's shape."

I find the middle stage of the stories, where the heroine is outcast and not her self, very interesting. It seemes to have a connection to the fur- and feather-like objects I'm making. They too suggest shape-shifting, disguise, enchantment and some sort of riddle. Something that is not what it looks like, feathered yet not feathered, animal yet not animal.

Another fairytale related thing I came across recently is the Telling Tales exhibition at the V&A museum. The online presentation is very good and almost substitutes for a real visit.


suzie chaney said...

I love 'From the Beast to the Blonde', and often use fairytales from a female perspective in my work too.
I'm really keen to see how this work comes out, looks very interesting!
Thanks for the V&A link, too, looks amazing, wish I could go!

michele said...

I love this quote - especially the idea that the apparent degradation works for rather than against her. thank you so much for posting - really gives me something to think about. also like the idea of your work moving more toward feathers and fur. seems really appropriate for you.

Eva said...

Thank you both. Good to meet someone interested in the same thing.

The crafty Kaeru said...

Fascinating. I love the thought of harnessing the mystery and energy of a mythical creature, and it empowering a heroine to dare and achieve incredible deeds. I think your beautiful jewellery will do the same! I think it's so appropriate that you have described them as 'talismanic'... .

That V & A exhibition looks wonderful too - what a great website - thank you for the link!