What does the story mean to us? -Peter

We live in a modern version of tribal society, especially in cities. People tend to relate to others like them, we’re still easily divided by age, gender, sexuality, race, class. Poets meet with poets, musicians with musicians…In the midst of summer here in the U.K, we’ve taken Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale the Snow Queen as our source of inspiration. It is full of stories within stories, beautiful language and incredibly rich imagery. We’re artists working in different disciplines. We’re used to working on our own – in our own ‘language’ – so it’s different and exciting to be in collaboration with each other. What does the story mean to us?

 

Peter's first thoughts:

Kay in the Palace Screen Shot“Of all the stories described as ‘fairy tales’ that I encountered as a child, The Snow Queen was the one that haunted me the most. So, when the prospect of a collaboration arose, it immediately sprang to mind as an ideal subject and I was delighted that my fellow collaborators agreed!

The tale is multi-layered and even in the early stages of our work, I was astonished by how much I had forgotten but also by how many diverse readings it can sustain. Nonetheless, a central theme still seems to me to be loneliness and this is reflected in the music I have so far contributed to the project. It is all composed for solo viola and consists of a series of movements reflecting episodes and characters from the story.”

 

What does the story mean to us? -Maria

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Over summer here in the U.K, it’s strange to imagine the landscape of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale the Snow Queen. To be wandering about thinking of snow in the middle of summer? Is that a metaphor for what it’s like making a piece of art? Almost 175 years after its first publication (!) we have taken this evocative story – full of stories within stories, beautiful language (already in translation) and incredibly rich imagery – as our source of inspiration. What does the story mean to us?

A true Pole, Maria answers the question with more questions:

Whose footsteps do you follow in – especially wheIMG_5513n you don’t conform to what society expects of you? Whose language do you feel, dream in or for that matter trust – especially when you grow up with more than one language to chose from?

As a child I was greatly disturbed by the idea of a piece of glass/ice falling into your heart. Could someone else’s tears melt it? I’ve started writing in the voices of Gerda and Kai, the two young people in the story. I know they’re not going to be traditionally girl-and-boy in my version. But there are so many other stories within this story – seven different ones in fact. My head is spinning!

What does the story mean to us? -Dagmara

In the midst of summer here in the U.K, as people head down to the beach with parasols and sun cream, it’s hard to imagine the landscape of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale the Snow Queen. Almost 175 years after its first publication(!) we have taken this evocative story – full of stories within stories, beautiful language and incredibly rich imagery – as our source of inspiration. What does the story mean to us?

First thoughts from Dagmara Rudkin:

The Snow Queen story is for me a story of dualities and I would like to create artworks that represent simultanously seemingly conflicting emotions. I have been immediately attracted to two substories – ‘The Flower Garden’ , which is a story of being both captured and nurtured and ‘The Little Robber Girl’, which shows untamed love that is expressed with both tenderness and violence. Perhaps delicate and fragile fabric combined with wire and rusty metal sheets can show Gerda/Little Robber Girl. Maybe life affirming and colourful organic forms can be complemented and contrasted with shadows of roots and thorns hiding underneath? Here are my first sketches: of the bird-like forms representing both Gerda and the Little Robber Girl.