A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Lisa Derrick on FireDogLake.com for HELL. It was one of those wonderful talks where you dig into the metaphors that inspire your work, and end up walking through stories from your childhood. In the course of that exchange, Lisa introduced me to a fairy tale I wasn’t familiar with, The Buried Moon.
This bewitching tale is full of “Things that dwell in the darkness” and the undying love of the moon above.
“The Moon up yonder shone and shone, just as she does now, and when
she shone she lighted up the bog-pools, so that one could walk about almost
as safe as day.
But when she didn’t shine, out came the Things that dwelt in the darkness and
went about seeking to do evil and harm; Bogles and Crawling Horrors…
Well, the Moon heard of this, and being kind and good – as she surely is, shining for
us in the night instead of taking her natural rest – she main troubled. “I’ll see for
myself, I will,” said she, “maybe it’s not so bad as folks make out.”
But it is – and she gets captured by the crawling horrors, who push her down into the bog, deep under the water and drag a rock over her so she’ll never be able to rise, and light the nighttime sky again. After a prolonged time of shadow and fear, the humans find her and set her free. It’s such a beautiful moment of wonder and respect when she looks up at them from the water, and before they know it is back among the stars shining more brightly than ever. You can read the entire tale here: The Buried Moon
A big thank you to Lisa for sharing this with me. I was so moved by the mutual admiration between humans and the moon. It’s also one of those stories where you can see yourself in every character: days when you’re the mischievous crawler who wants to hiss at any thought of vibrancy; or perhaps your light has been diminished, and you feel like you’re sinking in the muck; but there too are humans, that part of us that goes out and faces our fears to regain our light. Therefore I decided to make this image a self-portrait (that’s me inside the moon).
Because the story’s main element is the absence of brightness, I wanted to keep my image fairly dark. At first I had created the “Bogles” on the rocks, using silhouettes made from photos of me, but once I added them, I felt it took away from the “character” of the darkness. It’s more frightening NOT knowing what’s out there. So, I took them away, and made an image where you can adjust your eyes and tell me what you think you see. :)
The moon itself was quite a challenge to get right. And I have to thank my friend Ted Woods, for helping me to finally get it to look like I wanted – it’s all about the depth of the water, and the angle of the moon, and her glow. I didn’t want to lose any of her shine, I wanted it to be there still, but hidden – ready to come back out. My friend Lisa Gill (Lisa’s are the theme here today) said to her my moon looked like a moonstone. I love that! Those gems bring good fortune, strengthened intuition, and protection – seek it out and it will come to you. To me, that’s the theme of this tale. There is a full moon this Wednesday night, I hope she will bring you much love and much light.
Lastly, I join this image with the one of my previous post inspired by Gauguin, into a series I’ll create this summer called “On the Edge of the Universe.” All images on thoughts of listening, metamorphosis, and strength – whether that be internally or experimenting with my work. There are a few photos in this album already. Next up, the tale of Calypso! Coming soon: King Kong, and a new take on the fairy tale “Woodsman”. So, this series will draw inspiration from a variety of sources!
Hope you’ll stay tuned! Lisa