The Little Mermaid
When I was growing up, my favorite book was a collection
of fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75). It was a small, thick book with a hard red
cover. Inside were charming color illustrations with each story and I hope someday to locate the
book again. Fairy tales offer the author a way to teach a lesson to the reader, but in truth,
I was fascinated by the many different ways to interpret the stories. Written in 1836,
"The Little Mermaid" was the tale (pardon the pun) that I identified with the most.
My sculpture "The Little Mermaid" is inspired by the meeting between our heroine and the Sea Witch. Here is a portion of that passage:
In payment for such a potion, the Sea Witch demands the lovely voice of the little mermaid and cuts out her tongue. No one said that fairy tales were not gruesome!
Despite this, the story is charming and thought provoking. It is told from the perspective of childlike innocence that is full of the joy and wonder of first experiences. The descriptions are colorful and lively. Reading it is like seeing the world in which we live in a fresh, new way. It is a story of a pure, yet unrequited love, and a search for something larger than each of us - an immortal soul. The story has darkness and light and is one of the influences in my observing co-existing opposites. In the end, the little mermaid does not win the soul-sharing love of her prince, but for her unwavering effort and her pure love, she is given a second chance. The story ends on a note of hope, with the message that we can walk the path of our choice and obtain our goals with the assistance of those around us. It also contains a subtle warning to all of us that by our actions, we can choose to aid or to harm another.
May "The Little Mermaid" enchant you with her beauty and inspire you by her good heart and pure determination.
For your bronze, you may choose between a green patina and a "tan" one. Approximate weight of bronze with granite base is
24-28 pounds (depending on the granite chosen). One-third down reserves your bronze and you
may choose the edition number you prefer, if available. Limited edition bronze of 27.
"I know what you want," said the sea witch; "it is very stupid of you, but you shall have your way, and it will bring you to sorrow, my pretty princess. You want to get rid of your fish's tail, and to have two supports instead of it, like human beings on earth, so that the young prince may fall in love with you, and that you may have an immortal soul." And then the witch laughed so loud and disgustingly, that the toad and the snakes fell to the ground, and lay there wriggling about.
"You are but just in time," said the witch; "for after sunrise to-morrow I should not be able to help you till the end of another year. I will prepare a draught for you, with which you must swim to land tomorrow before sunrise, and sit down on the shore and drink it. Your tail will then disappear, and shrink up into what mankind calls legs, and you will feel great pain, as if a sword were passing through you. But all who see you will say that you are the prettiest little human being they ever saw. You will still have the same floating gracefulness of movement, and no dancer will ever tread so lightly; but at every step you take it will feel as if you were treading upon sharp knives, and that the blood must flow. If you will bear all this, I will help you."
"Yes, I will," said the little princess in a trembling voice, as she thought of the prince and the immortal soul.
The whole story (fairy tail):