Fairytales and Other Stories

Fairytales are Everywhere: All Around the Globe and in Every Shop

Once upon a time I was read to at night. Listening to stories while in this relaxed state allowed the vivid imagery to wash over me. Iconic characters and unusual events fed into my imagination, remaining in my memory. Years later the stories resurfaced and different meanings came into focus. From then on, I noticed them everywhere: throughout shops (for various budgets) and down tiled hospital corridors.

Studying anthropology, I learnt the theory of an underlying structure to all the world’s make-believe tales. No matter what the place or time in history, key themes recurred, as well as the details of colours and symbols. Of course, we all understand that the lens through which they are seen is culture-specific.

Comparing the aesthetics of my childhood to contemporary incarnations, I am struck by the changing styles. They range from the faux-medieval and courtly fashion of 1980s Ladybird books, to the anime-inspired cartoon characters. The latter’s omnipresent merchandising points to a clear commodification of the princess phenomenon.

Although the global nature of stories has been embraced by animated films, their diversity does not extend to body shapes or gender roles. Playing with opposing colour schemes, mechanical control panels and film posters, this series reflects on whether they all will live happily ever after, after all.

For images see Instagram @eclaircallow