The witch-mother and the husband-prince had one thing in common–the desire to possess Rapunzel. Rapunzel represents the billions of young women who are treated as property by their families and husbands, and by society as a whole. Rapunzel’s life is not her own–she is merely the vessel of her proprietors’ demands, their dreams, their desires. They imprison Rapunzel and strip her naked. They fetishize her hair, symbol of her virginity. They clutch at her ripe breasts. They clench the promise of her womb between their prying, possessive palms. She sits still and silent in the darkness of her isolation, but in this darkness the seeds of rage, the spores of rebellion grow–like dank, glossy white mushrooms, they do not need sunlight, they flourish in the wet dirt, lavished with tears. Her repression and confinement is coming to an end. Rapunzel chooses her own path, her own purpose.
She will rise.
|“Rampion Rising”, oil on canvas, 24″ x 34″|
This painting began as most of them do–a vision, a blip of an idea, which I then pursued without knowing the full depth of its significance. As I worked on it, though, its meaning became clearer. The name “Rapunzel” is thought to refer to Campanula rapunculus, an edible plant known as “rampion” in English. Both its leaves and roots may be eaten and its flower is a light blue or violet. Someday I hope to try some!
I still haven’t quite gotten the knack of taking pictures of my paintings in our new place–it seems like the ideal light (at least in winter) is between 2:45 and 3:15 PM, and it’s often cloudy! At any rate, it’s pretty much done. I’m mostly happy with the results, but for next time, I will work on drawing the viewer into the painting as opposed to having the painting leap out at the viewer.