Following on from my update on the smoke paintings I thought i’d explain a little bit about the concept behind the aim for my final piece based on Vasilissa the Beautiful (I recommend reading it before continuing further!).
Reading the fairy tale for the first time, I felt that the message of the story was clear: a girl finding her own voice and escaping villainy. I liked how in this tale the aim was not to reach the prince or marry the king; this simply came at the end as a by-product of her adventure.
As the main event of this story for me was a girl reaching into the forest blindly in search of a light I wanted to make this the focus of my piece. I want to have a really contemporary outcome – a girl reaching blindfolded into a mass of darkness (in this case I am using smoke.) The smoke for me is significant: it physically represents the goal she is aiming for – a candle – but also represents psychologically her unconscious mind, consequently the unpredictable and confusing nature of her psyche. To have her clutching a doll not only represents the physical gift that her mother gave her but also a metaphor for her mother’s guidance and comfort mentally in the absence of a loving mother figure.
The image below are some wood laser etchings that I was experimenting with the power and speed – etching the figure that will be walking into the smoke in my final image.