Nursery rhymes were not always intended for children, while old tales were frighteningly dispensed as morality lessons to persuade children to do as they were told.
Often the rhymes were veiled commentaries, alluding to religious and political persecution, illicit sex, or the ousting of monarchies. Although nursery rhymes were recorded in the 18th century, they derive from a much older oral tradition. Over the years, the meanings may have changed to suit the times and circumstances, so very often there are several different interpretations for a single rhyme.
My work annotating rhymes possess double meanings, beginning with “Who Killed Cock Robin.” It’s title,”Who Waxed Cock Robin?” deviates from the original as a response to a personal experience: A flock of cedar wax wings were migrating through my yard and 3 careened into my studio window. One died instantly (the other two rushed to the veterinarian hospital). I photographed the one that remained in homage to a life interrupted. By incorporating the dead wax wing into the visual narrative, the work bears a contemporary layer within the historical strata.
The fairy or morality tales presented here are not just based on fabulists such as the Brothers Grimm, but are a confabulation of current stories. “Saving Bambi” is a contemporary commentary on Disney’s animated film. Walt Disney has left his mark on me and I have yet to purge the influence from my psyche despite my artistic exorcisms with “Saving Bambi” and earlier work in “The Sacrifice” series.