Thanks to a music cassette from the early ’80s, I can still recall the first memories of the fairy tales my parents used to tell me on my bedtime: during one of those magical evenings, my dad decided in fact to record his voice performing a gruesome Little Red Riding Hood and my mum’s version of a naif and humble Cinderella (the tone of their voices suggests that they were probably already half asleep, after a long day at work, hoping that my brother and I would fall asleep before them).
I still listen to that cassette sometimes, with deep attention and sweet nostalgia. Fairy tales are to me one of the greatest way of storytelling, for their multitude of layers and hidden meanings; they are strongly related to life, death and society and they offer different levels of interpretation depending on the audience.
Fascinated by this timeless literary treasure, some time ago I started a series of tunnel books called Furry Tales, with two designs that I exhibited in Barcelona at Como Pedro por mi Casa: I have always wanted to develop this project further and I finally had the chance to work on a bigger scale thanks to Tanya Peixoto and her Bookartbookshop.
The little East London bookshop in the middle of a busy area is a hidden gem full of hundreds of self published, unique volumes. Every few weeks, Tanya gives an artist the chance to display their work in the shop window: my time slot started on the 21st of March and will end on the 3rd of April 2014.
The window display I created is a two-metres-long light box made of three layers of cut paper where the characters of nine different tales and children’s stories share a magical landscape full of trees and water, glowing of light thanks to the skills and patience of Mattia Reiniger and his Arduino.
Some of the stories are not very easy to recognise as I followed my personal interpretation of the original version. For this reason, and to create some interaction with the public, I decided to challenge the viewers with an online competition: whoever will write me an email with the nine correct titles by the 10th of April, will have the chance to be selected and to win one of my paper cuts.
If you happen to be in London, go and visit the display at any time until the 3rd April. More information about the shop and the address can be found on the website: http://www.bookartbookshop.com/