CHARACTER: Gretel (fairytale)
My charcter is Gretel from Hansel and Gretel. I chose Gretel as a strong female who overcomes adversity. I have a love of fairytales and vintage ephemera and looking through my 1970s childhood copy of Hansel and Gretel I was inspired to cast Gretel and the “evil women” in a different light. The work questions who exactly is the wicked witch? Why have women been written in history into the role? The evil stepmother, the witch in the woods waiting to eat children? The evil stranger?
In Australia 51% of girls and 49% of boys have experienced abuse. The majority of these are at the hands of people known to them, the parent or caregiver, the neighbour or the community institution that has been entrusted to care for them. So the ice- cream van represents the stranger, Jesus on the side and the church represents systemic abuse in community organisations and Gretel is seen sitting on her family and neighbourhood home highlighting the prevalence of family abuse. The token wicked witch is deliberately drawn smaller as is Hansel as I wanted the focus to be on Gretel and on females who face a higher rate of sexual abuse and violence their whole lives. I have deliberately situated the characters in a modern suburban setting to highlight that this problem is ongoing and not simply a past fairytale.
Title: Gretel in suburbia
Medium: Gouache on acetate
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Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development
Code: CUA60415 Cricos: 090497B
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