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Monica Stewart - The Singing, Springing Lark

Handmade paper cut art by local Louisville artist, Monica Stewart!

19.5" x 13.5"

Fitcher’s Feathered Bird (another tale by the Grimms) focuses on a kidnapped heroine, who, when forced into a Bluebeard-like situation by a wizard, uses her intuition, creativity, and cunning to outwit her perpetrator, who intends to marry her. Not only does she save her sisters from the creep, but she disguises herself as a bird by covering herself in honey, and slicing open the featherbed and rolling in the feathers. An adorned skull in the window of the wizard’s house serves as a decoy, and she walks right by the creep on her way out. She carries everything off so well, he doesn’t even recognize her.

The beginning of the Brothers’ Grimm tale, The Singing, Springing Lark, will likely sound familiar. A father about to go on a journey asks his daughters what gifts they would like him bring back. The youngest asks for a singing, springing lark, which the father manages to find in a castle inhabited by lions. He’s allowed to take the lark on the condition that he brings his daughter to live with the lions. The daughter discovers that the lions turn into humans at night, and marries the lion prince. However, through many machinations, she loses him—exposure to light turns him into a bird, and she must ask the sun and moon where he is. An evil enchantress, a griffin, and a magic nut all complicate things further before happily ever after is reached.

Monica Stewart is a multimedia artist working primarily with paper. She received her BFA with an emphasis painting from Murray State University and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Louisville. 

"My work in paper cutting is often influenced by fairy tales and folk stories, as stock characters and archetypes lend themselves to silhouettes. While I draw an image on the back of the paper, I am never quite sure how it will translate when turned the right way round. I feel like each cut relates to the next cut in order to give the viewer a new detail to investigate that will add to the overarching tone of the piece, and ultimately, the telling of the tale."