Friday, February 27, 2009

Little Briar Rose

For some time now, I have been trying for an image that would allow me to illustrate the story of Little Briar Rose. These tangled branches at Powerscourt Gardens provided me with the material to go with one of my favourite fairy tale. The point of the fairy tale is to demonstrate certain kinds of narcissistic relationships. Often in fairy tales, the princess who is either asleep, imprisoned or otherwise unapproachable keeps all her suitors at bay. Briar Rose lies behind a thicket of sharp thorns and this ensures that suitors are largely unsuccessful in trying to cut through the entanglement. Her prickles and spikes either discourage or mortally impale them. These represent the defences of the narcissistic person. Previous rejections predispose them to avoid the exploratory, trusting depths of true relationships. So the princess needs to surrender her pride, her feelings of high and mighty grandiosity to her true and more soft-hearted feelings. Little Briar Rose can be awakened by the kiss of the aggressive and determined suitor who is willing to risk life and limb, ignoring the dreadful sight of the bodies of previous suitors. In the story, the successful suitor does manage to break though the spikes and spines and kisses her. But the spell cast on Briar Rose only lasted for 100 years and his kiss coincided with its end. She awoke. Successful relationships do require determination. But we also need a bit of luck.