Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Little Mermaid's Halloween

All the little mermaid wanted was to be a human for Halloween by Kiri Østergaard Leonard
What would the Little Mermaid wear for Halloween? Why legs of course!

I love this painting and it's different perspective on the tale (tail?). Although The Little Mermaid is incredibly popular, it's not often we imagine the Little Mermaid in her pre-story, longing state to become human/get legs/find a soul. Did she ever pretend she had legs? Did she paint her tail? Make a fake pair to wear just so she could see what she might look like with legs?

In many ways Danish artist, Kiri Østergaard Leonard's re-visioning of the story here, does the exact opposite of what many people do on Halloween (especially those in mermaid costumes!) - in dressing up we seek to escape our humanity and enter the fantastic while here, the Little Mermaid, seeks to enter humanity and join the human race (though in this case, she'd need a size adjustment as well).
"Happy Halloween! The Little Mermaid was always one of my favourite H. C. Andersen tales, it’s a tragic story but also beautiful story. The Little mermaid plays into feelings most women can relate to, wanting your body to be something else than it is and not being able to appreciate what you already are. With this illustration I took the idea of the ‘Little’ mermaid quite literally. It’s playing a little of the fairy tale with the mermaid wanting legs, but it quickly grew into its own story. I do have plans to make some illustrations that are truthful to the original story in the future." by Kiri Østergaard Leonard*
Although dressing up at Halloween originated in attempting to trick soul stealers and devils through disguise, today's traditions embrace both the wishing aspect and in embracing our own dark sides. I wonder if the Little Mermaid knew, in wishing to be human, that she was doing both?

This Halloween night, may you feel close to those you love who have passed on and have the strength and courage to face your own dark sides.

Happy Samhain everyone! 

Kiri Østergaard Leonard is an illustrator and artist from Denmark, now living and working in New York. Her website can be found HERE, where you can see her other lovely fairy tale and fantasy work. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for featuring my work, I really like your thoughts on the illustration and story behind as well.