"I was inspired to create my piece "The Swan Maiden" out of my love for tales of transformations and shape shifting, the idea of being able to shed your animal skin and take on a new form. My favorite fairy tales as a child were those about animal transformations, because I so wanted to be an animal myself. I loved the idea of selkies who could shed their seal skin and come on land in human form, but if anyone were to take their seal skin while they were out of it they could be controlled by that person until they could take their skin back. I loved the Swan Princess when I was a child, the Princess and the frog, The Brown Bear of Norway, The Six Swans, all stories where one of the characters is capable of transforming into a beast, be it of their own will or a wicked spell. I never wanted them to change back into humans, I always longed to be transformed myself, and was inevitably sad when the spell was broken and the hero was to remain forever human again. My piece is based on the myth of the swan maidens, it is not so much a particular story as a portrait of a mythical creature. Much like selkies, swan maidens can shed their animal skin and take on human form, but if a human man were to find their skin he could force the swan maiden to marry him. Invariably in fairy stories of this nature the captive woman usually bears the man children, and one day those children find the hidden skin, and the selkie or swan maiden or whatever mystical creature is being held, is able to at last escape. My piece "The Swan Maiden" reveals an escape cut short.
I have always been somewhat drawn to the more tragic elements of fairy tales, the grim beauty and noble sacrifice, or foolish deaths over foxfires and banshees. I was always touched by the story of Swan Lake, where in the end princess Odette and prince Siegfried decide to throw themselves over a waterfall and die in order to escape from the evil sorcerer Rothbart, and at last break his hold over Odette only in death. I wanted my painting to tie into that theme as well, one of noble yet tragic escape, and the idea that there is a steep price to pay to break a spell.
" - Caitlin Hackett
This RUN comes signed by the artist along with an Original Artwork Letter of Provenance from 323East Gallery and 1xRUN.