Acrylic, oil and paper on canvas, box framed in raw oak.
Leah's latest series 'Happily Ever After' looks at fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Through painting and printmaking I examine old fashioned storytelling, using imagery to highlight the often complex and contradictory lessons we teach our children. This particular painting 'Handle with Care' is about the story of Cinderella.
"I've always had a particular fascination with Cinderella's glass slipper. Can you think of anything more impractical? Cinderella was literally walking on glass. It suggests ideas of fragility and delicacy as requirements for ideal wives, as well as the ability to put up with discomfort. Similar messages are implied in the Princess and the Pea, which is the subject of one of my other paintings in this series.
In this painting I wanted the heroine to be in charge of her own life and not dependant upon others. So the person helping the princess is herself, shown in a mirror image. The crocheted tablecloth as a basis for the patterned background also has meaning. Traditionally decorative items such as tablecloths, doilies and other linens were hand crafted by women and became part of their dowry chest. Upon marriage, these items went with them to help them start their new life, or their 'real' life for which they were intended. This links back to Cinderella and her desire to become a wife.
This painting is made up of many, many layers. The first layer I painted was an abstract colour painting created using acrylic paints and rollers on my kitchen table (as shown in the top left image above). The second layer is the dark blue pattern. This was based on a crocheted tablecloth I found at an op shop. I transferred the image onto the canvas using a screen printing process."
Read more about this artwork on Leah's blog here.