Once Upon a Time

This work is an attempt to condense the basic premise of most folktales into one all-encompassing concept.

Before the nineteenth-century, pre-capitalist folktales or “Volksmärchen” were full of righteous aristocrats fending off evil, magic-wielding misanthropes. By the nineteenth-century, and with the rise of the middle-classes, these tales morphed into the bourgeois art form of the “Kunstmärchen”, and they became symbolic of the struggle against feudalism. For example, the witch in Hansel and Gretel represents the feudal lord who enjoys a life of plenty (she lives in a house made of food). She is literally feeding off the people and their children (she tries to cook them in the oven), and is a hoarder of wealth (when the children kill her, they find a stash of jewels and bring them back to the poor, hard-working woodcutter).
This piece is executed in cross-stitch on 18-point cream aida cloth and was exhibited at “Out Of Context” at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, UK.