Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Fairy or folk tales and fantasy appear to be innocuous means of entertainment in contemporary society. Often relegated as pap for children, this view belies the gruesome origins, cultural significance, and means of personal expression and identity that is afforded to the author and reader/audience through the construction of fantasies. Through the creation of environments and experiences that center on porcelain vessels and sculpture, I explore the expression of uncomfortable desires and situations in the guise of fantasy. In some instances folk and fairy tales act as a means of escapism; an expression of desire for the fleeting and the unattainable. This relates to my personal acting out against the inexorable pull of time and desires to preserve certain moments that inevitably become distorted and fade. The indicators of fairy tales, set in kingdoms long ago and far away and marked by the inclusion of magic or other fantastical elements also provide a safe platform to express needs or desires that are uncomfortable to address in the real world. Many tropes, especially that of the wicked stepmother, point to very real and serious questions of survival in the time periods of the stories; issues of inheritance, famine, and the inevitability of age. Topics considered taboo to point out with neighbors or family members could be illustrated with dragons and kings and witches. I draw both from literary tradition and my personal constructs of fantasy within my childhood to create situations that explore topics that might not necessarily be broached in polite society.
Elsey, Lindsey, "ARTIFICIAL KINGDOMS" (2015). All Theses. 2284.