Fairy Tales of the Anthropocene uses sequential imagery in the form of ink transfer drawings and oil paintings to investigate the complex narratives humans tell about the forest and their role within it. In many of the Grimm's fairy tales, the forest is a setting for morality lessons, magical and frightening encounters with animals, and often unsettling outcomes. In Jewish folktales, the forest can be a site of healing or represent the search for a lost Eden or untouched primeval wilderness. By tapping into the childhood imagination—where fiction and fairy tale filter true events—Abigail addresses the question of what a contemporary fairy tale set in the forest would look like.  

 

In the context of the Anthropocene, our current geological era where humans have impacted the planet beyond repair, diminishing forest habitats symbolize the endangered biodiversity that rely on them. To tell this story, this series uses a gaggle of girls as its flawed protagonists. The drawings are as constructed and collaged as the story itself, which interweaves autobiography with references to European folktales, paintings by Bruegel, Bosch, and Goya, stories of endangered and extinct species, and social media posts of the recent destruction within U.S. National Parks. The subsequent events tread the ambiguous line between play and violence, evoking the blindness and folly of human misdeeds against the natural world. 

© 2019 by Abigail Drapkin.