Friday, August 20, 2010

tam lin, part 1

This is a project from 2008 that I've finally gotten around to photographing. Students in my class were given a roll of cash register tape. We had 2 weeks to fill it with something. I consider this one of my first book projects (a scroll is a type of book, after all!). I chose to illustrate the ballad "Tam Lin," a story of a maiden, Janet (sometimes Margaret), who falls in love with a fairy named Tam Lin. My favorite version of the song is by Fairport Convention, followed closely The Watersons' version and Anne Briggs' version. There's also an amazing re-imagining of the song by Benjamin Zephaniah & Eliza Carthy.

Other information to help make sense of the illustrations: I made all of the characters birds, Janet and her friend are chickadees, Tam Lin is a bird of paradise; Tam Lin lives in a forest called Cauterhaugh (sometimes Cauterhall), which is, perhaps, on land belonging to Janet's father; Janet can't play chess with all the other women in the land, of which there are 24, because she's become pregnant with Tam Lin's kid; she goes into the woods to find an herb to give herself an abortion, and Tam Lin convinces her that instead she should try to turn him back into a mortal knight and save him from the fairy queen. Not pictured: the fairy queen threatens to tear out his eyes and replace them with a pair made of wood.

I didn't photograph the whole thing, as you can imagine, it's quite long! These are some of my favorite sections. There are 8 pictures in this post, and there will be another 8 in a second.

1 comment :

Nina Fenner said...

brilliant, I've just picked up some cash register paper from a charity shop, this is inspiring me to do something with it. I see we have similar tastes in music too.

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