Sue Godfrey Clark
Fairy Tales and Other Stories
I have looked at Greek myths like Apollo and Daphne, and fairy stories like Sleeping Beauty, with which we are all very familiar, through post ‘Hashtag MeToo’ eyes. Our acceptance of the behaviour of the ‘hero’ of these stories, be he god or prince, towards the female is justified on the grounds that her beauty and desirability is challenged by these works. What we once saw as normalised, ‘masterful’ behaviour we may now see as an assault; in some cases, as with Apollo and Daphne, the female is only able to escape this by a process of transformation or metamorphosis, leaving her existence as a female behind to become a tree!
I’ve used my photographs of trees and woodland as a starting point for images of imprisoned and restrained female bodies; the presence of the hero may be overt or may be just suggested.
In one piece I have also examined our ideas of beauty and its relationship to metamorphosis and death through a piece called ‘Mirror, Mirror’, the title taken from the story of Snow White and her ‘wicked’ stepmother, where the viewer will see themselves through a shattered momento mori painting.