Oh, this was a toughie. Not only had I already, ages ago, made a bead called ‘the snow queen’
…but I wanted to create something…I don’t know…something special for this one. I have always loved this fairy tale, but I also found it very, very scary as a child. Not the abduction, but, actually, the fact that a tiny little splinter, unseen and unnoticed by the outside world, could change Kai’s personality so irrevocably, turning the lovely, loving little boy into a hard and mean child. That’s what scared me. Always, I have found stories that messed with people’s minds much more frightening than those that had big bogeymen and monsters in it. Anything outside, you can fight and control, but how do you fight the enemy within? And if somebody you know as loving and caring changes beyond recognition, what do you do? How do you get through?
Soon after I first read the Snow Queen, I realised that this change in people isn’t just the stuff of fairytales, that people can and do change beyond recognition. Drugs, alcohol and depression are just some of the things that can turn somebody you know into somebody you think you don’t. And when I had a brush with depression myself, after our son was born, I realised that sometimes, it seems like it doesn’t matter how much love you’re getting, it seems like that nasty little splinter will never dislodge.
So, in my sculpture, two people who love each other are ever so close, but separated by a jagged, fractured landscape. In fact, two hands could touch – there is nothing in-between…nothing visible, anyway. And yet…is the person on the inside trying to reach out, or pushing away, unwilling to involve a loved one. Is he saying ‘I want to let you in’, or ‘Please stay away, I don’t want to hurt you while I am in this darkness’?
I don’t want to simplify matters by saying ‘love conquers all’ – life isn’t a fairytale. But I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that every ‘Kai’ in this world has a ‘Gerda’, that everybody who feels trapped, alone, changed and helpless, has somebody who will come look for them, no matter what the peril, will ask to be let in, hold them tight, and melt any nastiness away.