Archive for June, 2013

The Little Mermaid Revisited…

June 28, 2013

I was recently asked to create a piece for an exhibit, Inspired by Children’s Literature, curated by Maryellen Hains, for the Carnegie Center for the Arts, 107 N. Main St. in Three Rivers, Michigan. The show is a collaborative group showing of over 20+ artists each exploring their childhood memories. My piece, The Little Mermaid Revisited, is hand-made felt created with Australian Merino wool, Wensleydale, wool locks, silk fibers and fabrics, yarns, shells, beads, and bark cloth (tapa). My Artist Statement reads:

“My piece was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen‘s The Little Mermaid. In this fairy tale, the mermaid exchanges both her voice and her tail, for legs, hoping to win the love of a prince and earn an immortal soul for herself. I hadn’t recalled the sadder parts of Andersen’s fairy tale, only remembering the parts that I loved and the beautiful images in my book. I think the moral of Andersen’s story relates to trying to be something that you are not, being content with who you are….Finding your own voice or not losing it in the first place… All good lessons. I’m glad that I revisited this story as an adult, which gave the story new meaning for me. My felt mermaid tail can either be seen as the tail that the mermaid lost, which has washed upon the shore, or perhaps, a happy ending to a somewhat sad tale…A new tail found for the Little Mermaid to re-enter the sea.”

Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of novels, poems, and plays, Andersen is probably best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen’s fairy tales, while oftentimes thought of as stories for children, actually present thought-provoking life lessons, touching on issues of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity, tales that transcend age. I am pleased to share with you my take on The Little Mermaid, as presented through my chosen medium of felt and hope that if you live in the area, that you might take the time to visit the Carnegie Center for the Arts.