Bedtime Stories


Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories is a collection of charcoal drawings and paintings, these works take on the theme of fairy stories and nursery rhymes with a surreal or sometimes erotic twist.

Bedtime Stories was created by Harriet as part of her 4th and final year of her Fine Art degree at The Sligo Institute of Technology in 2007. It was shown in a purpose built installation with a canopy roof that blocked out exterior light from the space, to control the lighting into various transitions on a light sequencer of white and black lighting.

The Drawing ‘Mary Mary Quite Contrary’ won the Royal Dublin Societies Taylor award that same year.

Here are some more photos of this exhibition and this artwork:



Bedtime Stories Artist Statement

Bedtime Stories is a collection of charcoal drawings and paintings, these works take on the theme of fairy stories and nursery rhymes with a surreal or sometimes erotic twist.

These works cross three main disciplines painting, drawing and installation. I enjoy working on a large scale I feel the work is much more powerful on the viewer to get an emotional reaction from the work which is my intention; I want my work to stay with the viewer once they leave the space. I have been experimenting with a large variety of ultra violet paints and pigments. Using lighting effects I was able to change the mood in the space to cross between different levels of intensity. The Women in the Art are stylized from contemporary childhood culture with an edge of urban street art, I feel they sum up the ever departing from cultural traditions in a media saturated world.

This work has evolved from the theme Mandalas, as being a method of describing the structure of the physical and metaphysical universe that is referred to in Buddhism. The notion of there being planes of reality, i.e., life, dreams, after death, and the possibility that there maybe other states we are unaware of.

This figurative work depicts a fantasy land undergoing a dreamlike description of a universe shift, described with circles of light and symmetrical flower forms, symbolic of this notion of Mandalas.

I glimpsed through the veils of illusion of these many planes into a strange unknown land known to some as` over the hills and far away’. In this place not all was what it appear, there were objects hidden in the landscape, which although appeared still, its hills and mountains were very fluid, like coloured custard creeping slowly consuming these objects along its path. It seemed that these characters and objects were not as part of the landscape but a glimpse for a split second, lifting the veil onto another realm.

I like this magical realm I see it as a gigantic dream land of infinite possibilities where our conscious goes to escape and to allow our imagination to unleash itself from our preconceptions that chain us down on earth.

This is the realm of fairy stories and nursery rhymes dreamed up long ago, the dreamers wrote them down to spread to the masses, some had important lessons of wisdom, as time passed so were the stories they slowly lost their meaning, like a message passed by Chinese whispers game. In the dream world the characters and stories still existed but the outside influence from the modern earth filtered in and the characters roles became distorted and maybe more so relevant as a reflection of ever changing attitudes in today’s society and the changing face of today’s childhood culture.

Bedtime Stories offer a glimpse into a realm where our preconceptions need not apply and in applying them the characters in the stories appear edgy, the personal interpretation of these works as with most things depend on the innocence or experience of the viewer.

Harriet Myfanwy Nia Tahany 2007