A Journey Through the Woods: Of Folk Tales and Fairy Tales, of Light and Shadows

Elizabeth Weber, Artist Statement

In old school fairy tales and folk tales, the story was meant to teach us a lesson. It took us on a journey, lured us deep into the metaphorical forest and into our inner shadows, allowing us to face our deepest fears; loneliness, abandonment, and the inability to stand on our own.

It is through that journey, that stumbling through the brambles of our lives, collecting our scrapes, our cuts, our gashes, from the sharp rocks we fall against, that we eventually may find our path if we are lucky. And like in the real forest, there may be moments in which we step into the light within or get struck by a chance ray penetrating the canopy- only to be plunged once again into the loamy darkness within our next few steps.

In Japan, they have a tradition, called Kintsugi. They fix broken pottery with a lacquer resin mixed with precious metals. Instead of disguising the breakage, Kintsugi restores it, making it a beautiful and visible part of that object’s history.

Taking this idea into some of my pieces, I intentionally caused some areas of the paint to crack. In these areas, the paint is thick to represent scar tissue. The cracks, filled with gold, to embrace my personal history of breaking and share with you the possibility of still getting back up after the shattering.

What if we allowed that for ourselves. What if we took our broken pieces, our scars, our deep soul wounds, and embraced them, let them be a visible part of our personal history; and in our embracing of them, they transformed into something beautiful, something each of us can see and touch. What if we openly chose to enter the forest, to face our fears, our weaknesses, and in doing so, allowed ourselves to learn we are in fact, our own armor clad rider on horseback…

This body of work is an exploration through my most recent trip into the woods within, my toe-to-toe dance with my deepest shadows in search of the inner alchemist, that one capable of transforming pain into light; the one willing to fill the brokenness with gold.