Fairy-tales have been with us in some form since the dawn of language. Originally creation tales and teachings of gods and goddesses, they evolved into stories of witches and fairies. These stories served as both entertainment and warning, moral lessons for children and reflections of social order and traditions.
Still popular today, fairy tales in all their varied forms speak to us of our own inner natures. The trials and tests that are undergone by the hero or heroine, the interactions of male and female, rich and poor, victim and villain, reflect human truths that are as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago.
My sister Grainne and I share a love of fairy-tales and folk stories. For our joint exhibition, 'The House on Chicken Legs', in The Signal Arts Center we took as our inspiration 'The Baba Yaga', a well-known character from Russian fairy tales. Baba Yaga is a Russian witch who has her roots deep in pagan religions as a fertility/death goddess somewhat akin to Kali in the Indian pantheon. Living in a hut on chicken’s legs and riding around in a mortar, she may help or hinder according to her whim.
I looked in depth at the character Baba Yaga herself and her relationship from a feminine perspective of the world around her drawing in also other fairy tales told from a differant perspective.