Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Lady Of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott is the subject for my latest doll creation.
The Lady of Shalott forms part of a series of events surrounding the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Lord Tennyson, who wrote the poem The Lady of Shalott. This doll and related works create a discourse with the painting by John William Waterhouse currently on loan at The Collection in Lincoln.

The Lady of Shalott can only view the world through a mirror, and as such follows on from part of my fine art theory relating to Baudrillard's simulacra and simulations. She is like Neo, trapped in The Matrix, until she DOES look at Lancelot for real and the mirror shatters, bringing a mysterious "curse" upon her. The poem contains many, many levels, regarding Lancelot's many suitors, unrequited love, terminal illness, drugs, medieval aspects of feminism, sex and the possibility that it refers to deadly STDs, the Victorian mindset regarding death and mourning, Neo Platonism and what Borges says about mirrors being monstrous etc.

The dolls follows the theme from previous characters to illustrate folk characters from Black Jack Davy, and in consideration of the mirror theme, the Lady of Shalott has a mirror eye.

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