It’s May! Which means we should really share the fairy tale for this month. My turn to pick, and I chose Little Red Riding Hood. I think this fairy tale has fascinated me for a long, long time…I mean, there are a few dumb fairy tale heroines around, but mistaking a wolf for your grandmother has to take the biscuit. Maybe because I grew up with my nan living in our house, it alway struck me as a particularly odd misunderstanding (my nan, at least, was quite small and rotund, and not particularly furry!)
But like LRR, I grew up near…well, I wouldn’t call it a ‘forest’, but the outside, woodlands, etc. And I usually could be found half way up a tree or in a den somewhere. Later, when I went to music college, I took part in a performance of ‘Into the Woods’ (yup, I was one of the ugly sisters……*sigh*), and I still sing ‘into the woods, and out of the woods, and home before DARK!’ to myself every time I try to get something done quickly or close to a deadline. Because, even though I’m not actually afraid of the dark, there is some sort of delicious excitement to shadows lengthening, things going ‘bump’ – you *know* that there’s no reason to be afraid (you’re a responsible, modern grown-up, after all, and the times when wolves roamed around the house have long gone), but that tingle, that fight-or-flight instinct, seems to have some Darwinian hold on you.
So, to cut a long story short, I’ve been looking at shadow art.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster have to be my absolute favourites:
Here’s an example by Fred Eerdeken:
Sadly, I couldn’t find a credit for these guys:
There was a clear message behind LRR, related to a real fear at the times, certainly in rural areas: Don’t let vulnerable people roam around after dark, when the wild animals are out. The fear of shadow, I suppose, has its uses, and I’ll see if I can’t work with shadows for my piece this month – wish me luck!