The Dark Nursery Rhymes
This series was created in 2014 in response to an invitation from Boise's Brumfield Gallery to participate in a showing of narrative art jewelry. It was a daunting challenge to be included with a group of well known artists from across the country, and also because I don't usually focus on the narrative.
After much ado, I settled on retelling the traditional nursery rhymes, some with dark origins.
The Cow jumps over the moon.
Spinning the layers of trees reveals the Cat & the Fiddle, the Little Dog Laughing, and the Dish running away with the Spoon.
Ring around the Rosie is about the Great Plague aka the Black Death.
The roses symbolize the deadly rashes, the posies were supposed preventative measure, the tishoos refer to sneezing symptoms, and the falling down is death.
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary is actually Queen Mary I of England, aka Bloody Mary.
Silver bells and cockle shells were torture devices and the pretty maids all in a row refers to the guillotines lined up in the streets . Mary was Catholic and not a fan of Protestants.
The guillotine actually works and making it was the biggest challenge of this series.
Jack is actually the English pirate Black Jack, who lived in the late 16th century, He always succeeded in escaping from the authorities. Nimble enough to jump over candlesticks and evade the law as well.