It turns out that the term fairy tale was first thought of by a woman around 1690.

The French writer Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy questioned the status quo and in particular the patriarchy by using the form of the fairy tale to both subtly and directly question the accepted male and female behaviors of the time. The link below is to an article from Late Night Live on the ABC discussing the fictionalised reinterpretation of d’Áulnoy ‘s life by the writer Melissa Ashley.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-07/fairytale-author-marie-catherine-daulnoy-wrote-a-rebellion/11627040

There is renewed focus on the form of the fairy tale as a way of saying something to part of the audience but not necessarily to all the audience. By using a simple sentence structure and language these tales can appear to be easy to understand however they can also be seen to be incredibly complicated.

On Thursday 28th Nov from 5.45 I am screening three very short videos of fairy-tales at the Golden Age Cinema in Sydney Australia. Tickets are free and you can register on this web site https://www.eventbrite.com/e/once-upon-a-time-long-ago-and-far-away-x-3-tickets-81856449845

An interesting approach as oral history becomes more aware of the value of the moments without words.

Follow this link to read of an interesting development in the practice of oral history, one of the strongest ways to allow the voice of the participant into the discussion. The author’s approach expands the scope of the practice of oral history to one where the language of non verbal communication during the interview is not translated but is understood. http://oralhistoryreview.org/oral-history-projects/documenting-tears/

In this article/essay Dalrún J. Eygerðardóttir, an Icelandic filmmaker, historian, feminist and oral historian locates the significance of the silence in interviews with a number of former rural housekeepers as the expression of a deep sorrow. The author concludes from the context and repetition that the sorrow is expressed by silence and it is up to the interviewer to acknowledge, feel the texture of the non verbal communication and keep still verbally and bodily to hold this expression of sorrow.

Image Raindrops on the water surface, taken from down below. Johannes Sturlaugsson from the article by Dalrún J. Eygerðardóttir ‘Documenting Tears” published on line in The Oral History Review Link at the top of this post.

Work in Progress: Time of Death – Series Three

Working on a Time of Death series is a recurring event in my practice. First occurring in 2010 they circle around to be remade every two to three years. A video work will accompany these still images from Series Three and be overlaid with the sound track of the reading of a fairy-tale Once Upon a Time, Long Ago and Far Away: Pulling the Plug.

A video work made earlier this year as part of the fairy-tale reading series can be seen on my Vimeo channel. That work is titled, Once Upon a Time, Long Ago and Far Away: Being Moved from One Place to Another https://vimeo.com/355286468

Detail from the new work – ‘Coughing Up Blood’.

Fiona Davies Coughing up Blood ( Detail) 2019 silk paper, aluminium, found objects and light, 300 x 600 x 600(h)cm. Photo Credit: Pamela Kleemann

My mother’s slightly yellowed tupperware container has become the makeshift Xray reader in this desolate, isolated space within the gallery at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.

Fiona Davies – Coughing up Blood, 2019

This link will take you to my work on the Resilience in times of adversity website. Curated by Vivienne Dadour the exhibition is at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and runs until the 29th September.

Once Upon a Time Long Ago and Far Away: Being Moved from One Place to Another

A short video set in the transition from surgery to the recovery room to somewhere else. The landscape is populated by hallucinations,, by competitions and by counting down to start. The ending is ambiguous

Site 1 of my work Woven Architecture at the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi Georgia.

The work traces the marks on a bedside medical monitor showing the changes in the heartbeat, oxygenation and blood pressure of a patient whose abdominal aortic aneurysm has ruptured.

Fiona Davies, Woven Architecture – Site 1, 2019, Ribbon,thread and tape.
Dimensions variable. As installed in The State Silk Museum, Tbilisi Georgia
Photo credit Alex Gooding