Kirsten Stingle Studio
"Stories are Forgotten Dreams, Variation 1"
75" x 49" x 24"
Our lives are comprised of stories we tell ourselves and pass to one another. They are not static or finite but change and develop throughout our lives. In essence, stories are fragments of our life’s journey that are linked to a myriad of other stories and other life journeys.
Reflecting my theater background, this piece is a story within a story. Neither heroine is static. They are caught mid-action—mid-narrative. They are part of a developing journey reflecting the retelling of past narratives and informing new ones. The television represents not only their transmission and repetition but also our connection to one another through the basic human elements of sharing experience and understanding.
Hand built porcelain stoneware with layers of ceramic and cold finishes. She sits on a midcentury modern television that forms the theater. The theater harnesses the suspension of disbelief, using paper waves and fabric sea to convey the turbulent waters. We are meant to understand this story is staged, but nevertheless sincere. The skirt is hand sewn, embellished with flowers that are hand cut, formed, and sewn. Inside the skirt/stage curtains is a hand embroidered messages: “Stories are Forgotten Dreams,” in French. Both figures are embellished with glass balls symbolizing the magical and temporary nature of our dreams. The fan, covered in waxed and painted wallpaper and trim, hides an antique gem photo album. This album is converted to a pocket that hides the remote control to the theater lighting, disguising the manipulation of storytelling devices
The Keeper and her spirit animal are the tender guardians of secrets, wishes, and memories. Evoking a surreal fairytale atmosphere, The Keepers references the very human conditions of longings, aspirations, dreams, and the fragility of memory. They care for the dreams we have as children that drift away; the secrets we keep for ourselves or for others; our deepest desires; our dearest wishes; our lost memories. There is no expiration date within this repository---The Keepers ensure treasures are remembered and safe, only to be released when needed.
The female torso is hand built porcelain with layers of ceramic finishes and cold finishes. Her arms are folded around her chest to protect the keyhole to her heart. The skirt is hand constructed around an antique wire laundry basket. The fabric is hand dyed, and all of the flowers and embellishments are hand cut, sewn, and heat manipulated. Her antlers are painted, waxed and embellished with copper wire that has been torch forged and painted. She sits atop an old hair dryer armature. Her spirit animal is upholstered and embellished by hand on a vintage taxidermy form. The animal’s collar and tail are hand cut and heat manipulated. It sits on an antique trunk that holds inside the potential of renewal: a ceramic egg within a ceramic nest.
If you guide your own fate, do you become Fate itself? Winter Shores celebrates navigating life’s adventures, exploring outlying shores, and enveloping experience like a new skin. The heroine is ready to face even the most inhabitable and solitary landscapes because she sees her world through a lens of internal confidence and value. The birds that accompany her reference Disneyesque fairytale familiars. But unlike most fairytales, she is not waiting for someone else to steer the ship. She meets the challenges of the journey and she embraces the surprises that always lie ahead.
Hand built porcelain stoneware with layers of ceramic and cold finishes. She sits on a vintage architectural pedestal symbolizing “home” as an important foundation in our life. The antique yacht and pedestal are painted, distressed, and waxed. Fiber embellishments are hand dyed, sewn and heat manipulated, with hand sewn seed bead. Other mixed media includes eyelashes, glass, and epoxy.
Disguise as a form of protection allows one to move through the world without exposing vulnerabilities. Referencing Little Red Riding Hood, the heroine turns the tale on its head. Her naivete does not make her a victim, as she watches the story unravel around her. She is a strong, savvy protagonist, actively determining her world and eager to interact with it. Her spirit harnesses the moon, representing the power of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.